The Beacon

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

Video: Learn How Global Fishing Watch Can be Used to Tackle Illegal Fishing

Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth released Global Fishing Watch

A trawler fishing in the Gulf of Bothnia, Sweden. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

As you may have heard yesterday on The Beacon, Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth announced their new platform, Global Fishing Watch, that uses satellite data to track fishing activity around the world.


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Dusky Shark Saved from Fishing Gear: The Heartwarming Story of One Incredible Rescue (Photos)

Epic Diving rescued a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear

The Epic Diving crew rescuing a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear. (Photo: Epic Diving / © Debra Canabal)

Oceana launched a campaign to save dusky sharks this past summer, but these fantastic divers beat us to it! Read on to learn about an uplifting story of a dusky shark rescue in the Bahamas.  It’s sure to make your day!

While on their annual A Cotton Photo photography workshop this past spring, the crew of Epic Diving—a dive company operating throughout the Bahamas—had a unique encounter with a dusky shark.


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Ocean Roundup: Gabon Creates Massive Marine Reserve, Indonesia’s Largest Manta Ray Dealer Arrested, and More

Indonesia's largest manta ray dealer has been arrested

A giant manta ray (Manta birostris) in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. (Photo: Arturo de Frias Marques / CC-BY-SA-4.0  via Wikimedia Commons)

- A man accused of being the largest manta ray dealer in Indonesia (since the nation declared itself as the largest sanctuary for these fish) has been arrested by the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Manta rays are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Aljazeera


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Oceana Partners with Google and SkyTruth to Announce New Tool to Track Global Fishing Activity

Global Fishing Watch shows the first global view of commercial fishing

A look at Global Fishing Watch, a platform that pulls satellite data to show the first global view of commercial fishing. (Photo: Global Fishing Watch)

Today, Oceana, SkyTruth, and Google announced their partnership to develop a new big-data technology platform, called Global Fishing Watch, that analyzes massive amounts of satellite data to create the first ever global view of commercial fishing.


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Introducing Eerie Eels: Some of the Most Underappreciated Fish in the Oceans (Photos)

Eels come in varying shapes, colors, and sizes

Easter Island moray eel (Gymnothorax nasuta). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

When you think of the vast marine biodiversity that exists, whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish probably come to mind first. But, one animal that is often overlooked when it comes to thinking about the deep blue and its biodiversity are eels. Eels are actually fish, and the many species come in varying sizes and colors, have unique adaptations, and are found across the world’s oceans. 


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Ocean Roundup: Map Reveals Ocean Acidification Hotspots, Illegal Sea Urchin Harvesting Causing Alarm in St. Lucia, and More

Sea urchin harvesting is causing alarm in St. Lucia

A purple-spined sea urchin. Illegal sea urchin harvesting is rising in St. Lucia (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- Environmental groups on St. Lucia say they are growing “increasingly concerned” over illegal harvesting of sea urchins—especially young sea urchins that don’t have a chance to reproduce. Fishery managers closed the fishery and warned that anyone caught illegally harvesting could risk legal penalties. Jamaica Observer


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Polar Bears’ Stinky Feet Play Important Role in Their Behavior, Study Says

Polar bears have stinky feet

Polar bear paws. (Photo: Alan D. Wilson / Nature's Pics Online)

Polar bears may appear ultra-adorable and cuddly from afar, but new research revealed one fun fact about polar bears that isn’t so cute: They have really smelly feet.


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Book Review: ‘Law of the Jungle' by Paul M. Barrett

The Law of the Jungle looks at Donziger and Chevron's Amazon involvement

A hand covered in crude oil, taken from one of Chevron’s oil pits in Ecuadorean Amazon rainforest near Lago Agrio. (Photo: Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action Network / Flickr Creative Commons)

When one thinks of the Amazon, many probably picture it as a pristine, luscious rainforest teeming with biodiversity that hint at simpler times before human development and exploitation. But within the dense foliage of the Amazon rainforest lies one of the most complex, tangled 30-year-old tales in the making that’s undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest stories of environmental injustice.


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Ocean Roundup: Gulf of Maine Cod Fishery Closed, Climate Change Worsening Dead Zones, and More

Fishery managers closed the Gulf of Maine fishery

Cod (Gadus morhua). Fishery managers closed the Gulf of Maine cod fishery for six months. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- Researchers have discovered that they can examine how much plastic debris seabirds ingest on the open ocean by studying its concentration in birds’ preening oil. The scientists say this will help them understand how trash is affecting other marine species. ABC


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Thirty-One Species Granted Protection by UN in Big Move for Wildlife Conservation (Photos)

The UN protected 31 species

A reef manta ray (Manta alfredi), one of the species protected by CMS over the weekend. (Photo: Jacob Mojiwat / Flickr Creative Commons)

After six days of “intense negotiations,” the Convention on the Conservation on Migratory Species (CMS)—an international treaty under the United Nations Environment Program specializing in migratory species—closed its Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Quito, Ecuador with good news for global wildlife conservation. Delegates from more than 100 countries agreed on protections for 31 different terrestrial, avian, and aquatic species, including safeguards for a record 21 species of sharks, rays, and sawfish.


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