The Beacon

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

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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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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