The Beacon

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

Oceana’s 2014 Balearic Seamount Expedition: Diaries from the Field

Oceana ventured to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

The SOCIB R/V vessel used during this expedition, pictured during a ROV immersion at Fort d'en Moreu, Cabrera, Balearic islands, Spain. (Photo: Oceana in Europe / Flickr)

As you may have previously read on The Beacon, Oceana in Europe recently wrapped-up a ten-day expedition to the Balearic seamounts off Spain to determine the need for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the region.


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Court Requests Changes to the North Pacific Fisheries Observer Program be Reconsidered

NMFS must reconsider changes to the North Pacific observer program

A National Marine Fisheries Service observer checks the dimensions of a net and its catch. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Marine Observer Program)

Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must reconsider recent changes to the North Pacific observer program. NMFS restructured the observer program in 2013 to increase observers on small hook-and-line halibut boats in the Gulf of Alaska fleet and randomize the deployment of observers on vessels, but the agency significantly underestimated the cost of these changes.


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Ocean Roundup: Florida Receives Federal Help for Oyster Recovery, Climate Change Linked to Iceland’s Puffin Decline, and More

Puffin nesting has declined in Iceland

An Icelandic puffin. (Photo: Martin Ystenes / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Florida is receiving $6 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for oyster recovery in  Apalachicola Bay in northwest Florida—a fishery that crashed in 2012 and 2013. The money will go towards oyster recovery, oyster monitoring, community assistance, and other outlets. WCTV


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Photos: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea

Oceana in Belize takes Belizean youth to the coast

Belizean boys on the trip to the Lighthouse Reed Atoll. (Photo: Oceana in Belize / Alexander Ellis / Flickr)

Oceana in Belize has been busy instilling a sense of wonder and stewardship for the oceans in Belizean youth. Earlier this month, they took a group of underprovided boys, all under the age of 14, to Belize’s beautiful coral isles. For many of them, it was their first time to the ocean— meaning it was the first time that they were able to see this famous, stunning resource of their own country.


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than Three Weeks until Porbeagle Sharks are Protected

Porbeagles will be protected under CITES on September 14

A porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). (Photo: NMFS, E. Hoffmayer, S. Iglésias and R. McAuley, via Wikimedia Commons)

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.


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Ocean Roundup: Rare Blue Lobster Caught in Maine, Cephalopod Skin Providing Groundwork for New Technology, and More

Cephalopods have been used in new technology

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) in Portugal. Cephalopods, like octopuses, have been inspiration for new technology. (Photo:  Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- New York City may seem like the last place to spot whales, but these cetaceans are making a comeback in the area. This summer, an eco-tourism group has spotted 52 whales alone. CBS News


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Creature Feature: Barnacles

Barnacles live in the intertidal zone

Goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) on a rope, pictured during a 2008 Catamaran Oceana Ranger Atlantic Cantabric Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Enrique Talledo)

Barnacles are one of the most eerie looking marine creatures that exist. You may have noticed them the last time you visited the beach, attached to docks and boats or perhaps attached to old oyster shells on the beach. In this creature feature, we’re uncovering the secrets behind barnacles that give them their unique look.  


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Chile Cancels September Crustacean Trawl to Protect Common Hake

Chile banned their crustacean trawl to help common hake

Hakes (Merluccius sp.)  in a crate. (Photo: Oceana / LX)

Chile has taken a major step to protect common hake, a species in decline from overfishing. Earlier this month, the Under-Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) decided to close the crustacean trawl fleet for the month of September around Valparaiso, Bernardo O'Higgins, and Maule, Chile. The move protects common hake, a fish commonly caught as bycatch in the crustacean fishery, which has declined by 70 percent from 2001 to 2013.


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Ocean Roundup: Maine’s Scallop Fishery Could See Closures, Sydney Harbor Littered with Microplastics, and More

Maine may close parts of the scallop fishery this year

Patagonia Scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen) 

- Maine’s scallop fishery could see multiple closures in the upcoming December season as regulators work to rebuild the fishery. Fishermen caught millions of pounds of scallops from the 1970s to 1990s, but the fishery then dropped dramatically. The Associated Press


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Oceana Magazine: Tuna in Trouble

Bluefin tuna are threatened by oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.

A bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

The Atlantic bluefin tuna made an incredible recovery after decades of overfishing. Now, seismic airgun testing in the Mediterranean Sea threatens to unravel progress that was made for this super predator. This article was originally published in the summer 2014 issue of Oceana magazine, and the full excerpt can be viewed here.


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