The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

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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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


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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.


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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).


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Ocean Roundup: Seafood Watch Upgrades 21 Fish Species, Dolphin Slaughter Begins in Japan, and More

Seafood Watch upgraded rockfish to safe seafood option

A thornyhead rockfish. Rockfish were recently upgraded to a more sustainable seafood option on The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program Seafood Watch list. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Japan’s annual dolphin hunt began earlier this week, despite objection from many environmental groups that call the hunt “inhumane.” The catch involves driving dolphins into a secluded bay and then killing them, and will continue through February. The Guardian


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Ocean Roundup: Great Barrier Reef to Stay Clear of Dredge Spoil, Louisiana Rapidly Losing Coastline, and More

The Great Barrier Reef will stay clear of dredge spoil

A sea turtle in the Great Barrier Reef. (Photo: University of Denver / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The Chesapeake Bay experienced their eighth-largest dead zone this summer since record keeping began in the 1980s, according to Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources. Officials say this signals larger issues with Bay health, and that much more work is needed to reduce nutrient input and pollution. The Washington Post


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Video: Leatherback Sea Turtle Rescued from Fishing Gear

A leatherback sea turtle was rescued from fishing gear off New Jersey

A leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). (Photo: Oceana / © 2009 Tim Calver  www.timcalver.com)

As you likely know, natural predators aren’t the only threats to sea turtles and marine mammals in the open ocean—many manmade threats, like derelict fishing gear, pollution, and plastics, constantly endanger marine life. Fortunately, a recent encounter between a leatherback sea turtle and a derelict fishing net had a positive ending for the turtle.  


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Conservation Groups Plan Lawsuit to Protect Sperm Whales

California Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishery threatens sperm whales

“Mother and baby sperm whale." (Photo: Gabriel Barathieu, Wikimedia Commons) 

Earlier this month, several conservation groups, including Oceana, announced plans to file a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect sperm whales from deadly, mile-long drift gillnets used in the California drift gillnet fishery.


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Ocean Roundup: 20 Coral Species to Gain Federal Protection, Shell Files New Plan for Arctic Drilling, and More

20 coral species to gain protection

Rough cactus coral, one of the new coral species to be listed as threatened. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it will list 20 new species of coral as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, largely because of climate change. Found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, these corals are also threatened by overfishing, runoff, and coastal construction. The Associated Press 


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