The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

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.


Continue reading...

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


Continue reading...

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.


Continue reading...

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.


Continue reading...

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


Continue reading...

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.


Continue reading...

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.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Big Bluefin Tuna Gain Protection from Fisheries, Commercial Fishermen Quickly Losing Consumer Trust, and More

NOAA made amendments to its bluefin tuna management plan

Bluefin tuna (Thynnus thynnus) gained protection in the U.S. recently. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

- NOAA recently made amendments to its bluefin tuna management plan in an effort to reduce the number of bluefin tuna killed by commercial fishing vessels. The new rules say that commercial fishermen cannot catch giant bluefin tuna—fish longer than 81 inches—in the Gulf of Mexico or western Atlantic. NPR


Continue reading...

CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than Two Weeks until Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are Protected

Oceanic whitetip sharks will receive protections under CITES

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). (Photo: Jürgen Donauer / 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.


Continue reading...

Video: Dumbo Octopus Makes Rare Appearance in the Gulf of Mexico

Dumbo octopus appears on film for the Nautilus Live expedition

The dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis spp.) (Photo: EVNautilus / Nautilus Live Expedition / YouTube)

It’s not often that rare, deep-sea creatures present themselves to scientists in plain sight. But in a video captured last month during Nautilus Live, a five-month expedition that’s mapping and documenting seafloor ecosystems around the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, an elusive dumbo octopus in the Gulf delighted scientists when it swam right in front of their remotely operated vehicle (ROV).


Continue reading...

Browse by Date