The Beacon

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

Offshore Wind Advancements Take the Stage at AWEA Conference

American Wind Energy Association is hosting a wind conference

An offshore wind farm in the North Sea. (Photo: ©MEDVIND/Bent Sørensen/DONG Energy  A/S)

The U.S. offshore wind industry has picked up great momentum over the past year. To highlight recent advancements, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) will host its annual Offshore WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition on October 7 and 8 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


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Ocean Roundup: Cause of Green Sea Turtle Tumors Discovered, Sharks Found to Have Distinct Personalities, and More

Green sea turtle tumors have been attributed to nitrogen

Nitrogen runoff is causing tumors to grow on green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) around Hawaii. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

- Scientists have detected a 40 percent decline in calcium carbonate in one section of the Great Barrier Reef near Lizard Island. Calcium carbonate serves as building blocks for coral reefs, so scientists say this study calls for “an arrest to ocean acidification.” The Sydney Morning Herald


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New Government Report Exposes Oversight Gaps in Offshore Drilling Regulators

New OIG report shows BSEE has lapses in drilling oversight

Oil rigs near Horn Island, Mississippi, USA, pictured during an Oceana Latitude Gulf of Mexico Expedition in 2010. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

A recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the Department of the Interior has revealed some condemning information about the oversight of offshore drilling operations. The analysis conducted by OIG, which is charged with auditing and investigating executive departments, focuses on the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) offshore oil and gas permitting program.


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Chile Becomes First South American Nation to Tax Carbon

Chile becomes first South American nation to approve carbon tax

A power plant in Ventanas, Chile. (Photo: Oceana)

Late last month, Chile became the first nation in South America to tax carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The new tax—$5 per ton of CO2 emitted—targets 50 megawatt or higher fossil fuel-emitting power plants, while smaller plants and those fueled by renewable sources will remain exempt. Most of the funds will go into Chile’s education system, says Blue and Green tomorrow.


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Ocean Roundup: Fish Finding It Difficult to Adapt to Climate Change, Oceans Warmer Than Thought, and More

Spiny damselfish could take generations to adapt to climate change

Spiny damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus). Juvenile spiny damselfish are having a difficult time adjusting to climate change. (Photo: Nikita / Wikimedia Commons)

- New research shows that fish aren’t quickly adapting to climate change, and it may take them several generations to do so. Researchers found that young spiny damselfish fish were no better than their parents at adapting to higher CO2 levels in seawater. The Guardian


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Oceana Magazine Fish Tale: Bay of Biscay Anchovy Fishery

Anchovy in the Bay of Biscay are recovering

Anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardines (Sardina pilchardus) unloaded from a purse seiner in the port of Ayvalik, Turkey.(Photo: Oceana / María José Cornax)

This article, originally published in the summer 2014 issue of Oceana magazine, is the first installment of a new column, Fish Tale. Each issue, we’ll feature a recovering fishery from around the world, detailing why the fishery collapsed and what actions fisheries managers are taking to restore the fishery to its former abundance. Take a look below to learn more about the recovery of the Bay of Biscay anchovy fishery.


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As California Drift Gillnet Fishery Continues to Kill Marine Mammals, Oceana Pressures for “Count, Cap, and Control” Approach

California drift gillnet fishery kills pilot whales

A short-finned pilot whale killed by a California drift gillnet. This fishery killed an estimated six short-finned pilot whales in the 2013 to 2014 fishing season. (Photo: NOAA)

In September, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released new data showing the bycatch reported by federal observers of the California-based drift gillnet fishery that predominantly targets swordfish and thresher sharks. Alarmingly, the data indicates this fishery killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014.


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Ocean Roundup: Giant Clam Could Inspire Solar Technology, Thousands of Seamounts Discovered, and More

The giant clam could influence solar technology

A giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in the Maldives. Giant clams could influence new solar technology. (Photo: Malcolm Browne / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Improvements in radar satellite technology have allowed scientists to discover thousands of underwater seamounts around the world. The scientists say this discovery is important for fisheries management and conservation since wildlife tends to congregate around these seamounts. BBC News


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Photos: Oil Spill in Chile’s Quintero Bay Affects Local Wildlife, Fisheries

Nearly 800 gallons of oil spilled in Chile's Quintero Bay

Oiled seawater near the Monobuoy Terminal in Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Claudio Almarza)

Last week, nearly 800 gallons of oil spilled into Quintero Bay, Chile at the Monobuoy Terminal when intake hoses broke free from an oil tanker. The National Fishing and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) filed a criminal lawsuit against those responsible for the spill, and Oceana in Chile requested that the Environmental Superintendency (ES) conduct an investigation and claim responsibilities for the spill.


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Ocean Roundup: Crabs Found to Look Out for Corals, 35,000 Walruses Gather on Alaskan Beach, and More

Coral crab guards defend corals from sea stars

A crab of the genus Trapezia, which defends coral reefs from sea stars. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that some coral may have natural “crab guards” that help them fight off predatory sea stars. Researchers found that coral off the island of Moorea in French Polynesia have a symbiotic relationship with these crabs, offering them shelter and nutrition in exchange for protection. Smithsonian


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