The Beacon

Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.

Video: Huge School of Anchovies Swarms San Diego Shoreline

A massive school of anchovies amassed along the Pacific coast shoreline.

A massive school of anchovies amassed along the Pacific coast shoreline. (Photo: Scripps Oceanography / YouTube)

When a massive school of anchovies swam uncharacteristically close to the California shoreline last week, they couldn’t have picked a better location: right outside the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


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Ocean News: Whale Sharks Visiting Azore Islands More Frequently, Volunteers Help Disabled Sea Turtle Nest, and More

A whale shark (Rhincodon typus)

A whale shark (Rhincodon typus). (Photo Oceana / Tim Calver)

- After two attempts at nesting this summer, volunteers helped a loggerhead sea turtle missing her right rear flipper successfully lay a nest on Masonboro Island, North Carolina. The sea turtle tried to nest 15 times this summer before the volunteers were able to help her. Star News Online


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Creature Feature: Ochre Sea Star

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / canopic)

Whether you know them as starfish or sea stars, these five-arm invertebrates will always be recognized by their unique shape and vibrant colors that have been decorating the seafloor for millions of years. This month, we’re taking a look at the ochre sea star and what this keystone species can tell us about the health of our oceans.


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Video: Migratory 'Superhighway' Possibly Discovered Between Costa Rica and the Galapagos

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

One green sea turtle may soon become one of the most well-known sea turtles around the world, after he clued researchers into a possible migratory “superhighway” between Costa Rica and the Galapagos last month.


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Ocean News: New Maps Reveal Extent of Ocean Plastic, Florida Keys Launches Turtle Cam, and More

A loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle hatchling

A loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle hatchling. (Photo: Oceana / Cory Wilson)

- New maps of ocean plastics—the first of their kind—show plastic accumulation levels across the world’s oceans. The maps highlight data from a study released this month that found plastics floating in five subtropical gyres across the world. National Geographic


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Oceana Urges Stakeholders to Rebuild Chile's Fisheries at International Seminar

Chilean Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi)

Chilean Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

Earlier this month, Oceana hosted an unprecedented international seminar in Chile to address problems with Chile’s fisheries and to suggest methods for recovery.


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Setback for Shark Conservation: Hammerhead Sharks Denied Protection under Endangered Species Act

A great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

A great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). (Photo: Wendell Reed / Flickr Creative Commons)

Last month, scientists, conservationists, and the ecotourism industry alike were all disappointed when the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) determined that the great hammerhead shark will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS also decided against listing scalloped hammerhead sharks in the U.S. last year, a motion that was finalized this month.


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Ocean News: Humpbacks Delight Onlookers with Rare Double Breach, Scotland’s Puffins See a Successful Season, and More

Puffins on the Farne Islands in the UK

Puffins on the Farne Islands in the UK. (Photo: John Sargent / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Two leading scientists on microplastics have called for urgent action to reduce and eliminate them from the marine environment. The scientists stressed that little is known about these particulates, such as what effect they have on the seafloor and where they’re most commonly found. EurekAlert


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Video: National Geographic Features Ocean Hero Jean Beasley’s Sea Turtle Hospital

A sea turtle being rehabilitated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue Center

A sea turtle being rehabilitated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. (Photo: Oceana / Cory Wilson)

From the time they hatch and bravely crawl towards the ocean, sea turtles face many obstacles like falling prey to crabs, gulls, and sharks—and only one in 1,000 to 10,000 are estimated to survive to adulthood. Even those sea turtles that beat the odds can find themselves wounded and threatened by fishing gear, plastics, and boat strikes.


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Kure Beach Mayor’s Support for Seismic Airgun Blasting Spurs Public Outcry

Kure Beach citizens protest against seismic airgun blasting

Kure Beach citizens show their opposition to Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth’s support for seismic airgun blasting. (Photo: Oceana / Randy Sturgill)

In January, Kure Beach, North Carolina Mayor Dean Lambeth voiced his support for the American Energy Forum’s push to approve seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast. Within days, his actions caused an outpouring of opposition—more than 300 residents protested his position towards seismic airguns at the next Town Hall meeting.


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