The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

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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Seaweed Spotlight: A Rare Glimpse into Beautiful Ocean Kelp Forests (Photos)

Kelp is a type of seaweed

Kelp (Laminaria ochroleuca) in the Gorringe Bank in the Atlantic, pictured during an Oceana Ranger Transoceanic Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Carlos Calvin)

Forest ecosystems are critical for the survival of terrestrial life, but did you know that such ecosystems exist in the oceans too?

Kelp, a type of seaweed, can form dense forests underwater. Known as kelp forests, they rank with coral reefs and estuaries for being one of the most important ocean ecosystems, home to thousands of species and vast biodiversity. Despite their ecological importance, kelp forests are often overlooked.


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Ocean Roundup: Methane Seeping from U.S. Atlantic Seafloor, Iceland’s Caught Scores of Endangered Fin Whales, and More

The U.S. Atlantic coast is seeping methane in 570 locations

Methane rising from the seafloor off Virginia. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new report by the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, California is “woefully unprepared” for sea level rise. The report projects that agriculture, tourism, and fishing industries will be most impacted by sea level rise. Think Progress


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Ocean Roundup: Vaquita Porpoise Needs Swift Protection, Atlantic Ocean behind Global Warming Slow Down, and More

The vaquita will go extinct if North America doesn't cooperate to save it

A vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus), the most endangered marine mammal. (Photo: "Vaquita5 Olson NOAA" by Paula Olson, NOAA, Wikimedia Commons) 

- New research shows that the Atlantic and Southern Oceans may just be behind the slowdown of sea surface temperatures increases after years of rapid warming. Scientists say that heat-storing greenhouse gases have sunk to the depths of these oceans, and not the Pacific as previously assumed. The Guardian


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Dolphins and Whales Squeal like Children When They’re Happy, Study Says

Dolphins and whales squeal when they're happy

An Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis). A new study found that dolphins and whales “squeal with delight.” (Photo: Oceana)

As a child, you may remember squealing and screaming when you were excited about something. It turns out that humans aren’t the only species that gets noisy when they’re happy: New research shows that whales and dolphins “squeal with delight” to express glee, too.


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A Summer Reading List for Ocean Lovers: Ten Books to Read before Summer Ends

Summer reading list for ocean lovers

(Photo: Steve McFarland / Flickr Creative Commons)

Summer may be winding down, but there are still a few warm weeks left to enjoy some summer reading. As you make your last trips to the beach, there’s no better way to enjoy the coast than sitting down with an ocean-themed book.

We’ve rounded-up ten must-reads for ocean lovers, with topics ranging from sustainable fisheries to narwhal biology. Take a look below, and let us know about any other ocean-themed books you enjoyed this summer!


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Ocean Roundup: New Coral Reef Species Discovered, Seals Found to Spread Tuberculosis 6,000 Years Ago, and More

Fur seals may have spread tuberculosis 6,000 years ago

A Juan Fernández Fur Seal (Arctocephalus philippii). A new study says that seals may have spread tuberculosis 6,000 years ago. (Photo: Oceana)

- Seals may just be the culprit in having spread tuberculosis from Africa to the New World 6,000 years ago. A new study found that seals contracted the disease when they crawled ashore on African beaches to raise their young, and then brought it to South America, where hunters became exposed. The New York Times


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than One Month until Manta Rays are Protected

CITES will protect manta rays on September 14

A manta ray off the Philippines. (Photo: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr Creative 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. To celebrate, we’ll be spotlighting all seven species that are receiving protections on September 14 in a series of countdown blog posts on The Beacon.


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