The Beacon

Polar Bears to be Considered for International Protection as Migratory Species

A polar bear female (Ursus maritimus) with cubs along the Beaufort Sea

A polar bear female (Ursus maritimus) with cubs along the Beaufort Sea (Photo: Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons) 

Currently, polar bears are listed as a “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Fortunately, these marine mammals could receive increased protection in a few short months.

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Video: Polar Bear Cam Provides Unique View into Arctic Life

Scientists observe polar bears in the Arctic through video camera collars

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) (Photo: Maryanneneslon / Flickr Creative Commons)

Warning: This video contains footage of polar bears consuming their prey. 

It looks like the famed Panda Cam at the National Zoo has a new rival. Recently-released footage of a polar bear in the Arctic  is giving scientists and polar bear-enthusiasts alike a glimpse into the elusive lives of these endangered animals—and giving pandas at the National Zoo a run for their money.

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FDA to Update Mercury Consumption Advisory

Blue fin tuna is on the FDA's advisory for mercury consumption

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in a tuna cage near the water’s surface. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating their mercury-advisory guidelines for the first time in ten years, and is taking a new approach to advising mercury consumption: encouraging informed intake rather than avoidance.

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Photos: Celebrating the Most Beautiful Coral Reefs for World Ocean’s Day

Yellow-brown wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) over a reef community off Chile

Yellow-brown wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) over a reef community off Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

This Sunday marks World Oceans Day, a day officially recognized by the United Nations to honor everything our oceans have to offer. We fight for the oceans every day at Oceana, but today, we’re celebrating one of the most beautiful—and threatened— organisms living under our seas: coral reefs. These precious ecosystems provide habitat for thousands of species and protect our shores from storms and sea level rise, but unfortunately, coral reefs are under threat from ocean acidification, deep-sea trawling, and pollution.

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Portugal Protects More Than Two Million Square Kilometers from Bottom Trawls

coral reef, deep sea coral, algae ground

Deep sea coral and anelid (fireworm) on algae ground. (Oceana / Juan Carlos Calvin)

In a remarkable effort to protect its waters, the Portuguese government issued a decree prohibiting deep-sea fishing in an area spanning 2,280,000 square kilometers. Even though the decree exempts longlining, which is authorized under certain conditions, it is an immensely significant step in protecting deep-sea species and ecosystems.

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Scientists Recommend Largest Baltic Cod Fisheries Cut in Years

baltic sea cod

Crates with cod unloaded from a longliner in the port of Kolobrzeg, Southern Baltic Proper, Poland. (Photo: Oceana / LX)

Oceana in Europe and our allies are campaigning to allow overfished Baltic Sea cod the chance to recover and rebuild their population. In its recently released advice for 2015 catches in the Baltic Sea, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) called for the largest cuts in total allowable catches for cod in years.

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"VEEP" Actor Reid Scott Joins Oceana in Panel Against Seismic Guns

North Atlantic right whale and calf spotted off Florida

A North Atlantic right whale and calf off Amelia Island, Florida. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

Actor and ocean activist Reid Scott is joining Oceana in the fight against seismic airgun use off the Atlantic Coast. Scott, who is currently appearing in season three of HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy series “VEEP,” will be in Washington D.C. on May 29 to join a panel of experts urging Congress and the Obama administration to reconsider their planned use of seismic airguns. The panel includes Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Jacqueline Savitz of Oceana, Commissioner Emilie Swearingen from the Town of Kure Beach, and Dr. Douglas Nowack of Duke University Marine Laboratory.

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