The Beacon

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

Outcry of Opposition Grows towards Seismic Airgun Approval along the East Coast

Seismic airgun blasting could lead to offshore drilling in the Atlantic

Oil rig off the coast of southeastern Louisiana. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

The public outcry of opposition towards seismic airgun testing has only continued to grow since the Obama administration approved seismic airgun testing along the East Coast earlier this month.


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Ocean News: Sharks Seized from Poachers in the Gulf of Mexico, Elusive Jellyfish Makes Rare Appearance, and More

Sharks were seized from poaching vessels in the Gulf of Mexico

A shark caught on a long line. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- It turns out that sharks may be confusing surfers for birds, according to a study that examined a previous deadly shark attack. That study found that the motions made by kite surfers puts them at particular risk. Discovery News


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Miami’s True Nature Seafood Company Fined $1 Million in Seafood Fraud Case

Miami’s True Nature Seafood Company Fined $1 Million in Seafood Fraud Case

A seafood market in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

It turns out Oceana isn’t the only one looking into seafood fraud; just this week, a huge seafood fraud bust in Florida was announced. And thanks to President Obama’s pledge to tackle the issue, we may see additional efforts to stop seafood fraud and illegal fishing in the future. 


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Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to Balearic Seamounts

Oceana will venture to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

A hermit crab holding a big sponge pictured during the Oceana expedition to the Balearic seamounts. (Photo: Flickr / Oceana in Europe)

Earlier this week, Oceana launched an expedition to document three seamounts located between the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, all of which belong to the Balearic Islands. Using an underwater robot known as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a team of Oceana marine scientists will capture footage at depths of up to 3,280 feet. The 10-day expedition will allow Oceana to learn about and map areas of ecological importance that are in need of conservation.


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Ocean News: Mercury Levels Rising in Surface Waters, Penguin Species Threatened by Habitat Degradation, and More

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) in the Falkland Islands

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) in the Falkland Islands are a species threatened by habitat degradation. (Photo: Graham Canny / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new study, mercury levels in many of the world oceans’ surface waters have tripled due to human activity. Because mercury drains into the ocean from mines, coal-fired plants, and sewage, mercury levels are higher in surface waters compared to the deep ocean. The Guardian


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Photos: Rashida Jones, Cobie Smulders, and Angela Kinsey Help Protect Belizean Reefs

Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey swim in Ambergris Caye in Belize

Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey swim in Ambergris Caye in Belize. (Photo: ©TonyRath.com)

A trio of Hollywood celebrities recently took their star power to Belize to help Oceana protect the largest reef in the Western hemisphere. Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”), Rashida Jones (“The Office”), and Angela Kinsey (“The Office”) traveled to coastal Belize, where they raised awareness for this delicate ocean ecosystem and promoted Oceana’s ongoing work in the country.


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Video: Diver Films Southern Right Whale Encounter Underwater

National geographic captures footage of southern right whales

Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Jose Rambaud)

While diving along South America’s eastern coast, diver and undersea specialist on "National Geographic Explorer" Justin Hofman came across a southern right whale and her calf — one of the rarest marine mammals.


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Ocean News: Gray Whales Showing Signs of Recovery, Gulf of Mexico Fish Lesions Linked to BP Oil Spill, and More

Gray whales are showing signs of recovery in California

A gray whale. (Photo: WhaleRiot / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A team of researchers that’s been monitoring gray whale populations off California for several years say that their numbers are increasing. Marine observers have spotted 431 gray whale mothers and calves so far this year as they make their annual migration to the Arctic. UT San Diego


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Video: Massive Barrel Jellyfish Caught on Camera

Diver captured one of the largest barrel jellyfish ever seen on camera

Barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Kennadiver)

In recent years, record numbers of barrel jellyfish have swarmed UK waters by the billions. These jellyfish are massive—stretching nearly 3 feet wide with tentacles that can extend for 6 feet. But in a recently released video, a diver off the coast of UK waters swam next to what may be one of the biggest barrel jellyfish ever spotted, according to The Telegraph.


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Ocean News: Great Barrier Reef Health at Greater Risk than Ever Before, Rare Deep Sea Amphipod Caught on Tape, and More

Great Barrier Reef health is compromised

The Eddy Reef in the Great Barrier Reef. (Photo: Paul Toogood / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists caught the largest species of amphipod, Alicella gigantean, on camera for the first time. The nearly 1-foot-long creature was spotted four miles below the ocean’s surface. New Scientist  


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