The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Ocean Roundup: Cause of Green Sea Turtle Tumors Discovered, Sharks Found to Have Distinct Personalities, and More

Green sea turtle tumors have been attributed to nitrogen

Nitrogen runoff is causing tumors to grow on green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) around Hawaii. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

- Scientists have detected a 40 percent decline in calcium carbonate in one section of the Great Barrier Reef near Lizard Island. Calcium carbonate serves as building blocks for coral reefs, so scientists say this study calls for “an arrest to ocean acidification.” The Sydney Morning Herald


Continue reading...

Chile Becomes First South American Nation to Tax Carbon

Chile becomes first South American nation to approve carbon tax

A power plant in Ventanas, Chile. (Photo: Oceana)

Late last month, Chile became the first nation in South America to tax carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The new tax—$5 per ton of CO2 emitted—targets 50 megawatt or higher fossil fuel-emitting power plants, while smaller plants and those fueled by renewable sources will remain exempt. Most of the funds will go into Chile’s education system, says Blue and Green tomorrow.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Fish Finding It Difficult to Adapt to Climate Change, Oceans Warmer Than Thought, and More

Spiny damselfish could take generations to adapt to climate change

Spiny damselfish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus). Juvenile spiny damselfish are having a difficult time adjusting to climate change. (Photo: Nikita / Wikimedia Commons)

- New research shows that fish aren’t quickly adapting to climate change, and it may take them several generations to do so. Researchers found that young spiny damselfish fish were no better than their parents at adapting to higher CO2 levels in seawater. The Guardian


Continue reading...

As California Drift Gillnet Fishery Continues to Kill Marine Mammals, Oceana Pressures for “Count, Cap, and Control” Approach

California drift gillnet fishery kills pilot whales

A short-finned pilot whale killed by a California drift gillnet. This fishery killed an estimated six short-finned pilot whales in the 2013 to 2014 fishing season. (Photo: NOAA)

In September, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released new data showing the bycatch reported by federal observers of the California-based drift gillnet fishery that predominantly targets swordfish and thresher sharks. Alarmingly, the data indicates this fishery killed an estimated 53 marine mammals from May 2013 through January 2014.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Giant Clam Could Inspire Solar Technology, Thousands of Seamounts Discovered, and More

The giant clam could influence solar technology

A giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in the Maldives. Giant clams could influence new solar technology. (Photo: Malcolm Browne / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Improvements in radar satellite technology have allowed scientists to discover thousands of underwater seamounts around the world. The scientists say this discovery is important for fisheries management and conservation since wildlife tends to congregate around these seamounts. BBC News


Continue reading...

Photos: Oil Spill in Chile’s Quintero Bay Affects Local Wildlife, Fisheries

Nearly 800 gallons of oil spilled in Chile's Quintero Bay

Oiled seawater near the Monobuoy Terminal in Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Claudio Almarza)

Last week, nearly 800 gallons of oil spilled into Quintero Bay, Chile at the Monobuoy Terminal when intake hoses broke free from an oil tanker. The National Fishing and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) filed a criminal lawsuit against those responsible for the spill, and Oceana in Chile requested that the Environmental Superintendency (ES) conduct an investigation and claim responsibilities for the spill.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Crabs Found to Look Out for Corals, 35,000 Walruses Gather on Alaskan Beach, and More

Coral crab guards defend corals from sea stars

A crab of the genus Trapezia, which defends coral reefs from sea stars. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that some coral may have natural “crab guards” that help them fight off predatory sea stars. Researchers found that coral off the island of Moorea in French Polynesia have a symbiotic relationship with these crabs, offering them shelter and nutrition in exchange for protection. Smithsonian


Continue reading...

Recent Marine Fossil Discoveries Provide Insight on Ancient Ocean Inhabitants

Ancient marine fossil discoveries provide insight on early oceans

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus skull, the first semi-aquatic dinosaur known to exist. (Photo: Didier Descouens / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s no surprise that the oceans are home to some of the most fascinating animals, from the massive blue whale, the world’s largest animal, to creatures like octopus and squid that can change their coloration instantly. But it’s not just modern-day ocean inhabitants that are awe-inspiring and sometimes frightening: Many of the oldest, extinct ocean creatures are just as impressive.


Continue reading...

Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Mussel Chowder

Mussel chowder is a sustainable seafood recipe

(Photo: Pete / Flickr Creative Commons)

October 1 kicks off National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet. Oceana focuses on sustainable seafood all year long through various campaigns, from the Save the Oceans, Feed the World campaign—which advocates for rebuilding healthy fisheries for a growing global population to enjoy seafood meals—to Oceana’s Seafood Fraud campaign, which advocates for traceability and accurate labeling in the supply chain.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Oceans Get a “D’ for Ocean Health, Beluga Whale Population Faces “Catastrophe,” and More

Beluga whales are declining in the St. Lawrence River

A beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas). Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River are declining. (Photo: Ansgar Walk / Wikimedia Commons) 

- The Ocean Health Index’s third annual ocean evaluation gave ocean health a “D,” or 67 out of 100. The researchers cite overfishing, pollution, climate change, and poor ocean protections as factors leading to the score, though they say many people expected the score to be worse. 


Continue reading...

Browse by Date