Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
- A new study shows that late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys are significantly warmer than they were a century ago. This temperature increase is causing slower coral growth, as well as increasing coral reef bleaching events. USGS News
Oceana Provides Comments to President Obama’s Task Force to Tackle Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud
Late last month, the public comment period closed on the President’s Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud. During the comment period, the Task Force held four public meetings: two webinars and two in-person meetings, one in Seattle, Washington, and one in Washington, D.C. Oceana provided comments at both in-person meetings and submitted written comments as well.
On September 14, 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will add seven sharks and rays to Appendix II, meaning that global trade of these species will be restricted. At Oceana, we work to protect marine species from overexploitation every day, so we’re thrilled about the new listings. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting all seven species that are receiving protections on September 14 in a series of countdown blog posts on The Beacon.
Ocean Roundup: Acidification Masking Shark Smelling Abilities, New Fishery Rule to Protect Endangered Albatross, and More
- NOAA has proposed a new rule to for West Coast commercial fishermen that intends to the endangered short-tailed albatross, a seabird whose numbers are down to 1,200 individuals. The rule requires fishermen to deploy streamer lines, already required off Alaska and Hawaii, which would scare off albatross from eating bait. The Associated Press
Here in the U.S., many tourists and beachgoers just wrapped up trips to the beach for the season. That also means that millions of people lathered themselves in sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful sun rays — a precautionary measure that you’re taught to do at a young age. But while this lotion protects humans, a growing body of research shows that it has an impact on oceans.
Last week, a United States federal judge ruled that BP’s reckless and negligent behavior is at fault for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which killed 11 people and caused 200 million gallons of oil to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s ruling opens up BP to billions of dollars in possible civil penalty fines, including a possible $18 billion under the Clean Water Act.
Ocean Roundup: Endangered Orca Pod Welcomes Calf, Atmospheric CO2 Levels Reach Record High, and More
- A new study found that tiny crabs of the species Planes major, which were thought to hitch rides on the back of sea turtle shells and remain there for life with a mate, may not be as monogamous as once thought. New research shows that males may actually hop off turtles in search of a mate in what researchers are calling “risky behavior.” Smithsonian Science
Each month, The Beacon features one Oceana staff member, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The month’s spotlight is on Oceana’s seafood fraud senior campaign director, Beth Lowell. Take a look below to learn more, and check out previous staff spotlights here.
Shark fin soup was once a delicacy in Asian nations reserved for the upper class, but in recent years, has become more readily available to both upper and middle classes. Now common at weddings, banquets, and business meetings, China has emerged as a nation with the largest market for shark fin sales.
Ocean Roundup: Sea Turtles Released after Swallowing Fish Hooks, UK Builds Massive Salt Marsh to Protect Coastline, and More
- Ten sea turtles that were rehabilitated after swallowing fishing hooks in the Gulf of Mexico were released into the wild over the weekend. These ten turtles are among 213 endangered kemps ridley sea turtles brought to the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies this year after swallowing fishing hooks around Mississippi. NOLA Media Group
- Ocean Roundup: Sand Tiger Shark Embryos Found to Eat Each Other, Wind Turbines Could Weaken Hurricane Intensity, and More Posted Mon, September 29, 2014
- Arctic Sea Ice Found to Play Bigger Role in Global Carbon Cycle Than Assumed, Study Says Posted Tue, September 30, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Gulf Businesses Won’t Return BP Payouts, Whales May Have More than One Spleen, and More Posted Fri, September 26, 2014
- Creature Feature: Leatherback Sea Turtle Posted Mon, September 29, 2014
- Ocean Roundup: Oceans Get a “D’ for Ocean Health, Beluga Whale Population Faces “Catastrophe,” and More Posted Wed, October 1, 2014