The Beacon: Brianna Elliott's blog

Photos: Oceana Launches Expedition to El Hierro Island and Atlantic Seamounts

Oceana launched an expedition to the Canary Islands

Rocky seabed covered with in the Canary Islands, Spain. Oceana launched their second expedition to the Canary Islands this week. (Photo: EUO © OCEANA Carlos Suárez / Flickr)

Earlier this week, Oceana in Europe launched their second expedition to the Canary Islands. This expedition focuses on the waters around the island of El Hierro, which is expected to become the first marine national park in Spain. This one-month campaign aims to map seamounts north of Lanzarote, the easternmost Canary Island, and around Sahara, the southernmost point of the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone.


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Ocean Roundup: Tiny Clownfish Can Swim for 250 Miles, Sydney Harbor May Turn Tropical, and More

Clownfish can swim for 250 miles, according to a new study

A new study shows that clownfish can swim for great distances. (Photo: vivacevy / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Tiny larvae clownfish are capable of traveling vast distances—up to 250 miles in search of a new coral home, according to a recent study. Researchers say that this will help the species deal with climate change. The Guardian


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Oceana Provides Common Hake Recovery Plan to Chilean Government

Oceana in Chile presents recovery plan for common hake

Hakes (Merluccius sp.) in a crate. (Photo: Oceana / LX)

Earlier this month, Oceana in Chile presented a recovery plan for common hake, a severely overexploited species, to the Chilean government. Among the recommendations, the recovery plan stresses the importance of protecting juvenile common hake and setting a minimum catch size of about 15 inches. Common hake catches have declined by 70 percent from 2001 to 2013.  


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Ocean Roundup: Leatherback Coloration May Play Important Role, UK Sees New Voluntary Seafood Labeling Scheme, and More

Leatherback pink spots may help with their migration

A leatherback sea turtle. Leatherback “pink spots” may play an important physiological role. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Researchers have discovered that the “pink spot” on leatherback sea turtles’ heads may actually play a useful physiological role. It may detect sunlight patterns, clueing leatherbacks into changes in seasonal patterns to inform their migrational and foraging habits. Smithsonian


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Ocean Roundup: Shark-Eating Dinosaur Fossils Discovered, Germany Paving Way for Cheaper Wind Energy, and More

Germany is a leading nation for wind energy

Wind turbines off England. Germany is setting such a demand for wind power that the price of turbines is starting to decrease. (Photo: Vattenfall / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a study published last week, scientists have found fossil evidence of the first semi-aquatic dinosaur. Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, known to prey on sharks, is the largest predatory dinosaur known to roam Earth— even bigger than T. rex specimens. The Washington Post


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Sharks and Rays Gain International Protection under CITES Listing

CITES Appendix II is protecting six new species of sharks and rays

An oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), one of the species now protected under CITES Appendix II. (Photo: Michael Aston / Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, seven sharks and ray species have gained international protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), making it a wonderful day for shark and ray conservation. This means that seven new species have been added to CITES’ Appendix II, which regulates their global trade in an effort to prevent overexploitation.


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Offshore Drilling Risks Highlighted in Myrtle Beach Billboards

Oceana billboards in South Carolina are raising awareness about seismic

One of Oceana's billboards near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo: Randy Sturgill / Oceana)

If you’re driving through the Myrtle Beach area over the next month, be sure to keep an eye out for several Oceana billboards in the area.


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Ocean Roundup: Western Australia Recommended to Halt Shark Cull, Orca Pod Saves Member from Fishing Gear, and More

Orca pod helped rescue a struggling member in fishing gear

A pod of orcas. Recently, members of an orca pod off New Zealand helped rescue a fellow whale from fishing gear. (Photo: Marie and Alistair Knock / Flickr Creative Commons)

- In a remarkable rescue, members of an orca pod helped save one of their own from fishing gear off New Zealand. Rescuers say the pod pushed the orca, who was carrying a 77-pound cray pot line, to the ocean’s surface to breath, and rescuers were then able to take over to free her from the gear. The Dodo


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Oceana Magazine: DiCaprio Funds Conservation Across the Entire Eastern Pacific

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation benefits Oceana

The Desventuradas Islands, Chile. (Photo: Oceana)

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation provided a three-year, $3 million grant that is allowing Oceana to expand conservation work across the Pacific Ocean and approach conservation from a hemisphere-wide scale. This article uncovers some of the beatiful, biodiverse locations that Oceana is focusing on because of this grant. This feature originally appeared in the summer issue of Oceana magazine


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Ocean Roundup: Healthy Corals Mean More Sharks, Extinct Dolphin Found in Peruvian Desert, and More

Sharks depend on healthy coral reefs

Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) over a reef. A new study found that reef health is important to shark abundance. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- A new study shows that late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys are significantly warmer than they were a century ago. This temperature increase is causing slower coral growth, as well as increasing coral reef bleaching events. USGS News


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