The Beacon

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

Fishery Managers Move to Clean up the California Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery

sperm whale

A sperm whale. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

The Pacific Fishery Management Council recently made a historic move by voting to clean up the California swordfish drift gillnet fishery—one of the dirtiest U.S. fisheries for bycatch.


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Ocean News: Manatees Could Lose Endangered Status, Ocean Acidification Causing Fish to Lose Their Friends, and More

Manatee.

(Photo: Oceana)

- Earlier this week, U.S. Coast Guard officials found 65 dead sharks in an illegal drift net 20 miles off South Padre Island, Texas. An airplane spotted the mile-long net and decomposing sharks, and immediately deployed a patrol boat. Houston Chronicle


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Photos: Tips for Protecting Coastal Wildlife This Fourth of July Weekend

Leatherback sea turtle hatchling

A leatherback sea turtle hatchling (Dermochelys coriacea). (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

Who doesn’t love hitting the beach for the Fourth of July? Whether you’re camping on your own remote barrier island or visiting a populated beach, the Fourth is a great time to enjoy the beach.


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Photos: Spanish Supreme Court Approves Offshore Drilling around the Canary Islands

Offshore drilling in the Canary Islands will harm marine species.

A male barred hogfish (Bodianus scrofa) pictured in Spain during a 2009 Ranger Expedition. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Carlos Suarez) 

Last week, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in favor of oil drilling in the Canary Islands. The ruling approves permits for Repsol, a Spanish multinational oil and gas company, to search for hydrocarbons on the eastern coastlines of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote islands. This project will harm up to 25 marine areas and 82 protected species that were documented by Oceana during its expedition in this zone.


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Ocean News: BP Wants Money Back for Overpayments, Obama Has a Big Opportunity to Protect Whales, and More

A group of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas)

A group of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas). (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- Scientists are predicting a slighter larger than average “dead zone” for the Chesapeake Bay this summer, meaning that nearly 2 cubic miles of the Bay will lack the needed dissolved oxygen for fish and crabs. The Gulf of Mexico, on the other hand, is predicted to have average-sized dead zone, caused by excessive nutrient pollution from wastewater and agriculture. The Baltimore Sun


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Blue Growth Could Help Drive the European Economy, but at What Cost to the Oceans?

Shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) on blue mussels (Mytilus edulis)

Shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) on blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in Knolls Grund, Western Gotland Basin, Sweden. 

Blue Growth is a European strategy to drive the economy in the marine and maritime sector—through practices like deep sea mining, aquaculture, and more—but Oceana in Europe is advocating for the importance of long-term protection for marine ecosystems as a mean to instill sustainable economies and profitable fisheries in the long run. This article originally appeared on Oceana in Europe’s blog.


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Meet Sawfish: A Family of Unique Rays that Need Conservation Attention

Sawfish are a group of rays that need conservation attention.

A sawfish. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Simon Fraser University Public Affairs and Media Relations)

You may not have heard of sawfish, an incredibly unique looking family of rays. As a flat fish with a long toothed snout (rostrum) lined with teeth that looks like a saw, sawfish have earned their name. Despite their large size (up to 20 feet long!) and those intimidating teeth, sawfish are in trouble.


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Ocean News: Researchers Discover How Disco Clams Light Up, Pygmy Blue Whales Found to Winter Off Indonesia, and More

The disco clam.

The disco clam (Ctenoides ales). (Photo: Jayvee Fernandez / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists found fossils indicating that animals have been building reefs for 548 million years, about 7 million years earlier than previously thought. This means animals starting depositing calcium carbonate shells around the Cambrian explosion. Nature


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Will Europe Follow in President Obama’s Footsteps to Create Marine Protected Areas?

A reef off of Spain

A reef off of Spain, pictured during a 2006 Oceana Ranger Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

Earlier this month, President Obama announced his intentions to expand protection for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, as well as his commitment to fight seafood fraud and illegal fishing. Like Oceana in North America, Oceana in Europe campaigns for the establishment and expansion of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) throughout the Baltic and elsewhere in the EU.


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Chile Announces New Policy Against Illegal Fishing

Chilean Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi)

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

During the “Our Ocean” conference held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, the Chilean government announced a new national policy to fight Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing, as well as their commitment to the New York agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks—a move that gives the Chilean Navy increased resources to conduct enforcement operations in the high seas.


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