The Beacon

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

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.


Continue reading...

Ocean News: New Arctic Shipping Route Proposed, East Coast Sees Surge in Coastal Flooding Events, and More

Arctic sea ice

Arctic Ocean sea ice. (Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new analysis focusing on sea level rise found that coastal flooding has dramatically increased in frequency along the Eastern Seaboard in recent years. The analysis found that flood levels met or exceeded NOAA’s flood thresholds more than 20 days a year in six coastal cities. Reuters


Continue reading...

CEO Note: “Wasted Cash” Report Reveals Staggering Cost of Bycatch

Bycatch

(Photo: Oceana / María José Cornax)

Discarding fish is akin to throwing money into the ocean, yet the U.S. fishing industry wastes millions of pounds of seafood each year. Bycatch is not only wasteful, but kills countless numbers of marine creatures like dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks in the process.


Continue reading...

Video: Exploring Vampire Squid, Corals, and Siphonophores in the Gulf of Mexico

A portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis)

A portuguese man-of-war (Physalia physalis), a relative of the the siphonophore spotted by the Nautilus Expedition team. (Photo: 4Neus / Flickr Creative Commons)

When you hear about marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, your first thoughts probably turn to sea turtles, shellfish, and brown pelicans. The Gulf is, of course, much richer in biodiversity than that short list, and home to other species like whale sharks and manatees. But, one research program is looking beyond these charismatic species of the Gulf, and recently captured unprecedented footage of marine life near some of the Gulf’s less-well-known habitat like caves and deep sea corals.


Continue reading...

Photos: OSPAR Protects 16 Species and Habitat in the Northeast Atlantic

European cod (Gadus morhua)

European cod (Gadus morhua). (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

Late last month, the OSPAR Commission, a group of 15 European governorning bodies and the European Union that works to protect marine life, adopted a landmark Regional Action Plan to combat litter and protect 16 vulnerable species and habitat. This article, which originally appeared on Oceana in Europe's blog, takes a close look at some of the species protected by the decision. 


Continue reading...

Ocean News: Diseased Fish Linked with BP Oil Spill, Rock Oysters Could Withstand Ocean Acidification, and More

Fish at a seafood market

Fish at a seafood market. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

- Prince Charles and his International Sustainability Unit want to turn fisheries into an investment opportunity, according to a new report. The report said that approaching fisheries management sustainably could help achieve social, environmental, and economic goals. The Guardian


Continue reading...

Whales Found to be Crucial for Healthy Ocean Ecosystems

Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus)

Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons  / Scott Portelli)

In June, researchers found that whale poo is highly beneficial to marine ecosystems in the Southern Ocean since it is rich in iron. Now, new findings show that whales’ contribution to the sea goes far beyond just their excrements.


Continue reading...

Victory for Loggerhead Sea Turtles: Vast Area of Habitat Gains Protection

A loggerhead sea turtle hatchling (Caretta caretta)

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

Today, the federal government designated thousands of miles of beaches and open ocean around the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles. The area, which covers 685 miles of nesting beach from North Carolina to Mississippi and more than 300,000 square miles of ocean habitat from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, is the largest designation to-date of critical habitat—making this ruling a victory and a historic step for loggerhead sea turtle recovery.


Continue reading...

Ocean News: Loggerheads Receive Miles of Protected Shoreline, Philippine Airline Bans Shark Fin Shipments, and More

A Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta)

A Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- This week, scientists officially named the largest flying creature ever discovered. Pelagornis sandersi, a type of early bird, relied on the oceans to keep it airborne when it lived 25 million years ago. To be able to fly with its massive 20- to 24-foot wingspan, scientists say this bird relied on air currents from the oceans to boost it into the area, where it scooped up prey from waves with a toothed beak.


Continue reading...

Fish Could Lose Their Friends Thanks to Ocean Acidification

Tropical damselfish (Chromis viridis)

Tropical damselfish (Chromis viridis) (Photo:  Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble / Flickr Creative Commons)

Climate change is going to leave some fish feeling very lonely in the coming years, as new research shows that increasing carbon dioxide levels prevent them from recognizing their friends.

 


Continue reading...

Browse by Date