The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Dusky’s Big Adventure, Day 2: Dusky Learns Why His Population is Declining

Oceana helps dusky the shark

Dusky the Shark learns why his population is declining. (Photo: Oceana)

This is the second in a five-part blog series that features Dusky the Shark. Over the next few days, Dusky will appear in a comic strip that explains why dusky sharks in the northwestern Atlantic are at risk, and what actions he and Oceana are taking to protect his species. Check The Beacon again tomorrow for the next installment of Dusky’s Big Adventure, and click here to see Monday’s installment of Dusky’s Big Adventure.


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Photos: The 10 Coolest Facts You Never Knew about Sharks

Top ten cool shark facts

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). (Photo: Oceana / Rob Stewart)

From our obsession with shark-themed movies like “Jaws,” to our desire to collect shark teeth at the beach, there's no denying that humans have a fascination with these cartilaginous fish.

But, just how well do you know these creatures? Even if you consider yourself pretty knowledgeable about these species, there’s always something new to learn. Take a look below at ten cool shark facts that may make you look at these ancient creatures in a different light.


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Dusky’s Big Adventure, Day 1: Dusky Turns to Oceana for Help

Dusky shark populations have declined by 99 percent

Dusky the Shark comes ashore to ask Oceana for help in rebuilding his population. (Photo: Oceana)

This is the first in a five-part blog series that features Dusky the Shark. Over the next few days, Dusky will appear in a comic strip that explains why dusky sharks in the northwestern Atlantic are at risk, and what actions he and Oceana are taking to protect his species. Check The Beacon again tomorrow for the next installment of Dusky’s Big Adventure.


Continue reading...

Meet the Dusky Shark: A Species that Needs Your Help to Literally Get Off the Hook (Photos)

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Co

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

You may not have heard of the dusky shark, a bronze-blue colored species found in warm coastal and pelagic waters around the world. While they may not be as famous as the favored great white or tiger sharks, dusky sharks are just as fascinating: These apex predators can live to be 40 years old, grow to be 12 feet long, and return to their natal regional waters to give birth. Unfortunately, dusky sharks off the Atlantic coast are in trouble.


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Outcry of Opposition Grows towards Seismic Airgun Approval along the East Coast

Seismic airgun blasting could lead to offshore drilling in the Atlantic

Oil rig off the coast of southeastern Louisiana. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

The public outcry of opposition towards seismic airgun testing has only continued to grow since the Obama administration approved seismic airgun testing along the East Coast earlier this month.


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Ocean News: Sharks Seized from Poachers in the Gulf of Mexico, Elusive Jellyfish Makes Rare Appearance, and More

Sharks were seized from poaching vessels in the Gulf of Mexico

A shark caught on a long line. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- It turns out that sharks may be confusing surfers for birds, according to a study that examined a previous deadly shark attack. That study found that the motions made by kite surfers puts them at particular risk. Discovery News


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Ocean News: Mercury Levels Rising in Surface Waters, Penguin Species Threatened by Habitat Degradation, and More

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) in the Falkland Islands

King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) in the Falkland Islands are a species threatened by habitat degradation. (Photo: Graham Canny / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new study, mercury levels in many of the world oceans’ surface waters have tripled due to human activity. Because mercury drains into the ocean from mines, coal-fired plants, and sewage, mercury levels are higher in surface waters compared to the deep ocean. The Guardian


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Ocean News: Gray Whales Showing Signs of Recovery, Gulf of Mexico Fish Lesions Linked to BP Oil Spill, and More

Gray whales are showing signs of recovery in California

A gray whale. (Photo: WhaleRiot / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A team of researchers that’s been monitoring gray whale populations off California for several years say that their numbers are increasing. Marine observers have spotted 431 gray whale mothers and calves so far this year as they make their annual migration to the Arctic. UT San Diego


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Ocean News: Great Barrier Reef Health at Greater Risk than Ever Before, Rare Deep Sea Amphipod Caught on Tape, and More

Great Barrier Reef health is compromised

The Eddy Reef in the Great Barrier Reef. (Photo: Paul Toogood / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Scientists caught the largest species of amphipod, Alicella gigantean, on camera for the first time. The nearly 1-foot-long creature was spotted four miles below the ocean’s surface. New Scientist  


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Offshore Wind Farms Are Foraging Grounds for Seals

offshore wind farms found to host foraging seals

Elsams Offshore Wind Farm in the North Sea. (Photo: MEDVIND / Bent Sørensen / DONG Energy A/S / Oceana)

It appears that some marine mammals are certainly welcoming the presence of offshore wind farms.

Satellite tags on grey and harbor seals reveal that these apex predators are frequenting two offshore wind farms in the North Sea to forage for prey. According to a study recently published in Current Biology, 11 seals showed evidence of foraging at the Alpha Ventus wind farm off Germany and the Sheringham Shoal wind farm off the United Kingdom, moving in a grid-like pattern as they swam from turbine to turbine.


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