The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Photos: These Sea Creatures Celebrate Halloween All Year with Their Spooky Names

An Atlantic ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata). (Photo: dogtooth77 / Flickr Creative Commons)

As you probably know, the vast, deep ocean is home to rich amounts of biodiversity—much of which appears rather spooky and frightful, like anglerfish with their many sharp teeth, to the stargazer fish with eyes on top of their head. With some species, though, the fright isn’t in their looks but simply in their name—like the vampire squid or ghost shrimp. 


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Ocean Roundup: Scientists Call for “Bold” Action on Overfishing, Shipping Company Pleads Guilty to 2013 Molasses Spill, and More

Scientists call for bold action on overfishing

Early-morning trawlers leave port in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

- In a new article, scientists called for “bold” action on overfishing and habitat destruction around the world for both industrial and small-scale fisheries. They call for more marine protected areas, and coordinated management and government activities. Phys. org


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Sam Talbot's Fish Tacos with Tomato Salsa and Citrus Crema

Fish tacos with tomato salsa. (Photo: Kyle Mahan / Flickr Creative Commons)

October marks National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet.


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Ocean Roundup: Costa Rica Restricts Industrial Tuna Fishing, West Coast Sea Stars May Be Making a Comeback, and More

Sea stars may be reviving on the West Coast

A sunflower sea star. Sea stars are said to be making a comeback from sea star wasting syndrome. (Photo: light-bends / Flickr Creative Commons)

- The United Kingdom’s chief scientist is sounding the alarm on climate change, warning that the oceans can only absorb about one-third of what they’re emitting. His warning comes after new studies highlight how ocean acidification affects animals from sea urchins to lugworms. BBC News


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Video: Oceana’s “Drill, Spill, Repeat” Documentary Wins Award at Sunscreen Film Fest

Oceana's "Drill, Spill, Repeat" video won an award

Fire boat response crews battle the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The 2010 BP oil spill disaster is discussed in Oceana’s documentary, “Drill, Spill, Repeat.” (Photo: US Coast Guard - 100421-G-XXXXL- 003 - Deepwater Horizon fire/ WikiMedia Commons)

The 2010 BP oil spill disaster killed 11 people and spewed over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, damaging ecosystems, local economies, and lifestyles for many Gulf residents. It’s been nearly four and a half years since the spill, but its effects on marine life and Gulf fishermen still persist. 


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Ocean Roundup: Great Barrier Reef Health “Never Been Worse,” Coral Could Be New Substitute for Bone Grafts, and More

Coal ports and development threatens the Great Barrier Reef

The Ribbon Reef, located within the Great Barrier Reef. Reef health has been heavily compromised by development along the coast. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new report found that ospreys don’t carry “significant” amounts of pharmaceutical chemicals, despite widespread presence in waters and some fish. This was the first study that looked at bioaccumulation of chemicals in osprey food webs. EurekAlert


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New Shark Repellent May Keep Sharks from Becoming Bycatch

A new shark repellent may keep sharks from getting caught on longlines

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). Overfishing has led to serious declines in dusky shark population numbers. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s estimated that tens of millions of sharks die from incidentally being caught in fishing gear each year—more commonly known as bycatch—from longlines, trawls, and gillnets. Commercial pelagic longlines are particularly dangerous, dangling thousands of baited hooks into the water for extended periods of time, typically intending to catch swordfish, mackerel, and tuna.


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Ocean Roundup: Baby Sea Turtles Tracked with Tiny Tags, Canada Restricts Large Area from Commercial Fishing, and More

Nanoacoustic tags can help track loggerheads

A baby loggerhead sea turtle hatchling. New nanoacoustic tags can now track sea turtle hatchlings. (Photo: Oceana / Cory Wilson)

- For years, scientists have used satellite tags to track adult sea turtles and learn more about their behavior, but technology didn’t exist to sufficiently study smaller sea turtle hatchlings. Now, scientists have used nanoacoustic tags to track baby sea turtles’ movements after West Africa during their first few days in the ocean. Science


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Bird Casualties from BP’s Gulf Spill Much Higher than Original Estimates

The BP oil spill had widespread effects on birds

An oiled gannet is cleaned at the Theodore Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 2010 following the BP spill. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Wikimedia Commons)

In September, a federal judge found BP’s negligent and reckless behavior to be at fault for the 2010 BP oil spill, which killed 11 people and spewed over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.


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Ocean News: Sea Turtle Nesting in Florida Sees Steady Increase, 2014 Could Be Hottest on Record, and More

Sea turtle nesting in Florida has seen a steady increase

A leatherback sea turtle hatchling. Sea turtle nesting has increased in Florida in recent years. (Photo: Tim Calver / Oceana)

- New research shows that male bluefin killifish have varying colorations and markings on their fins to signal different messages. Even though most field guides show one fin of the killifish to be blue, researchers found they also came in yellow and red. Science Daily


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