The Beacon

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

Video: Disco Clam Lights up the Sea Floor

Disco clams reflect light from their lips

Disco Clam (Ctenoides ales). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Jayvee Fernandez) 

The vast ocean can appear foreboding and intimidating, but one little bivalve is lighting things up on the seafloor. The appropriately-named “disco clam” is a small mollusk that’s able to flash an array of neon lights from its lips.


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Ocean News: Nicaragua Approves Massive Shipping Canal, Walking Fish Make Annual Appearance, and More

A female grunion depositing eggs during their annual spring run.

A female grunion depositing eggs during their annual spring run. (Photo: Sahadeva Hammari / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Yesterday, Nicaragua approved a proposed route for a $40 billion shipping channel across the country that will compete with the Panama Canal. The channel, which will traverse Central America’s largest lake, will undergo environmental and social impact studies this year. Reuters


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Global Issue of Marine Plastics is Gathering Significant Media Attention

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nearing a plastic bag

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nearing a plastic bag. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Bag Monster) 

From the straws in your fountain drink to the soles of our shoes, plastics are a part of our daily lives, and we’re surrounded by them without often realizing it. Unfortunately, as plastic waste makes its way from our households to our oceans, fish and other marine organisms are not only surrounded by plastics too, but ingesting it.


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Ocean News: Scientists Sound Alarm Over Shark Cull Program, Fabien Cousteau Returns from Underwater Mission, and More

A tiger shark (Galeocardo cuvier)

A tiger shark (Galeocardo cuvier). (Photo: Willy Volk / Flickr Creative Commons)

- An international group of 301 scientists submitted a letter to Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority expressing concern over the controversial shark cull program, saying it could effect the ecology of the oceans. The program caught 172 sharks during its trial period this past spring. The Guardian


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Ocean News: National Aquarium Launches Sustainable Seafood Program, Seahorses Can Growl, and More

Pacific seahorse (Hippocampus ingens) around the Galapagos Islands

Pacific seahorse (Hippocampus ingens) around the Galapagos Islands. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Peter Liu Photography)

- The National Aquarium launched a Sustainable Seafood Program earlier this week. The program will enhance seafood education, foster links between local fishermen and local markets, and improve opportunities for restaurants to serve local seafood. The Baltimore Sun


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Oceana Launches Underwater ReefCam in the Caribbean

A coral reef community

Reef community (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen) 

Want to stay connected to the underwater world even when you’re not out diving or at the beach? Now you can catch a glimpse of coral reef communities all day long with Oceana’s new ReefCam. Through a partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, Oceana has launched live-feed video footage that captures marine animals as they swim and forage around near-shore reefs off of St. Thomas.


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Another North Carolina Town Stands Up Against Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration

A North Atlantic right whale swims off the Georgia coast

A North Atlantic right whale swims off the Georgia coast, an endangered species that would be affected by seismic airgun testing. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

Kill Devil Hills, a small coastal town located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, has joined the mounting opposition towards seismic airgun blasting along the Atlantic Coast.


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Ocean News: Parrotfish Could Be Key to Saving Caribbean Coral Reefs, “Whale Zones” Proposed for Great Barrier Reef, and More

A stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) in the Bahamas

A stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) in the Bahamas, pictured during a 2005 Oceana Expedition (Photo: Oceana / Houssine Kaddachi)

- Kiribati, a Pacific island nation, recently purchased land on the Fijian island Vanua Levu in preparation for climate change. The president doesn’t expect to move everyone there, “but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it," he said. The Guardian


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CEO Note: A Look at the Impressive Outcomes from Our Ocean Conference

President Obama announced will expand the protection of the Pacific Ocean

The Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. (Photo: Island Conservation / Flickr Creative Commons)

I wrote to you a few short weeks ago about our tremendous victory in Oceana’s campaign to stop seafood fraud — at the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean conference, President Obama committed to tackling seafood fraud and pirate fishing. As realistic as I often am about these conferences, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes of Our Ocean.


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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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