The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Infographic: BP to Blame for 2010 Deepwater Oil Disaster, Rules Judge

BP found to be at fault for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A controlled burn near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. (Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response / Flickr Creative Commons)

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.


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Ocean Roundup: Endangered Orca Pod Welcomes Calf, Atmospheric CO2 Levels Reach Record High, and More

New calf joins southern resident whale population

A southern resident orca mother and her calf. For the first time since 2012, a new calf has joined the population. (Photo: NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Staff Spotlight: Beth Lowell

Beth Lowell directs Oceana's seafood fraud campaign

Beth Lowell. (Photo: Oceana)

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.


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Shark Fin Sales in China Show Promising Signs of Decline, Says Report

Interest in shark fins in China may be dropping according to WildAid

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharinus longimanus), a species commonly harvested for the shark fin trade. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

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.


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Ocean Roundup: Sea Turtles Released after Swallowing Fish Hooks, UK Builds Massive Salt Marsh to Protect Coastline, and More

Ten kemp's ridleys were released after swallowing fishing hooks

A kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) sea turtle. (Photo: Terry Ross / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Poll: Vote for Your Favorite Species to Help Celebrate World Shorebird Day! (Photos)

World shorebird day helps celebrate shorebirds

A black skimmer (Rynchops niger) in Florida. (Photo: Matthew Paulson / Flickr Creative Commons)

This Saturday marks the first World Shorebird Day, a day to celebrate these beautiful birds and raise awareness for their conservation. Shorebirds nest and migrate along beaches and grasslands, and are known to have some of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom.


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Photos: Five Ways to Help Shorebirds in Honor of World Shorebird Day

Five ways to help birds on World Shorebird Day

A least tern and chicks. (Photo: Dan Pancamo / Flickr Creative Commons)

If you spent this past Labor Day weekend at the beach, the chances are that you saw a shorebird—like a willet or sandpiper—wading in the sand, scurrying from waves or poking its bill into the surf zone to look for food.


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Ocean Roundup: New Deep-Sea Mushroom Discovered, Japan Announces Plans for Minke Whale Hunting, and More

Japan announced it will resume minke whale hunting in 2015

A minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

- Scientists say that the Gulf of Maine is warming 99 percent faster than the world’s oceans. This presents serious issues for fisheries, as many commercial important species like cod, herring, and northern shrimp are moving to colder waters. CBC News


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California Legislature Passes Seafood Labeling Bill in Big Move for Tackling Seafood Fraud

California Legislature passed SB 1138 to begin to tackle seafood fraud

California Legislature passed SB 1138 to begin to tackle seafood fraud and increase honest seafood labeling. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

In a move that will help to turn the tide on seafood fraud, the California legislature passed a bill (SB 1138) late last Friday evening that will help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions for their health and for the health of our oceans. The Senate passed the bill in a vote of 25-10, directly following passage off the Assembly floor in a vote of 57-15.


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Video: Pacific White-Sided Dolphin Delights Onlookers with Acrobatics

A Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens). (Photo: Michele W / Flickr Creative Commons)

Any time you spot a marine mammal in the wild is a special occurrence—simply from observing a dolphin at the beach or kayaking alongside a manatee—but sometimes, they put on a really good show for you too.


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