The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Oceana Provides Comments to President Obama’s Task Force to Tackle Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud

Oceana provided comments on President Obama's seafood task force

A fish market in Maryland. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

Late last month, the public comment period closed on the President’s Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud. During the comment period, the Task Force held four public meetings: two webinars and two in-person meetings, one in Seattle, Washington, and one in Washington, D.C. Oceana provided comments at both in-person meetings and submitted written comments as well.


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than One Week until Hammerheads are Protected

Hammerhead sharks will be protected under CITES

A great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). (Photo: Wendell Reed / 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’re 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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Ocean Roundup: Acidification Masking Shark Smelling Abilities, New Fishery Rule to Protect Endangered Albatross, and More

Smooth dogfish could lose their sense of smell from acidification

A smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). (Photo: Erickson Smith / Flickr Creative Commons)

- NOAA has proposed a new rule to for West Coast commercial fishermen that intends to the endangered short-tailed albatross, a seabird whose numbers are down to 1,200 individuals. The rule requires fishermen to deploy streamer lines, already required off Alaska and Hawaii, which would scare off albatross from eating bait. The Associated Press


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How Does Your Sunscreen Impact Marine Life?

Chemicals in sunscreen can cause coral reef bleaching

Sunscreen can cause coral reef bleaching. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Flickr Creative Commons)

Here in the U.S., many tourists and beachgoers just wrapped up trips to the beach for the season. That also means that millions of people lathered themselves in sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful sun rays — a precautionary measure that you’re taught to do at a young age. But while this lotion protects humans, a growing body of research shows that it has an impact on oceans.


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Infographic: BP to Blame for 2010 Deepwater Oil Disaster, Rules Judge

BP found to be at fault for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A controlled burn near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. (Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response / Flickr Creative Commons)

Last week, a United States federal judge ruled that BP’s reckless and negligent behavior is at fault for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which killed 11 people and caused 200 million gallons of oil to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s ruling opens up BP to billions of dollars in possible civil penalty fines, including a possible $18 billion under the Clean Water Act.


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Ocean Roundup: Endangered Orca Pod Welcomes Calf, Atmospheric CO2 Levels Reach Record High, and More

New calf joins southern resident whale population

A southern resident orca mother and her calf. For the first time since 2012, a new calf has joined the population. (Photo: NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new study found that tiny crabs of the species Planes major, which were thought to hitch rides on the back of sea turtle shells and remain there for life with a mate, may not be as monogamous as once thought. New research shows that males may actually hop off turtles in search of a mate in what researchers are calling “risky behavior.” Smithsonian Science


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Staff Spotlight: Beth Lowell

Beth Lowell directs Oceana's seafood fraud campaign

Beth Lowell. (Photo: Oceana)

Each month, The Beacon features one Oceana staff member, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The month’s spotlight is on Oceana’s seafood fraud senior campaign director, Beth Lowell. Take a look below to learn more, and check out previous staff spotlights here.


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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.


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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


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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.


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