The Beacon: Justine Hausheer's blog

Stand Up for the Deep

(Photo: Oceana in Europe)

Deep ocean species grow slowly and produce few offspring, making them very vulnerable to overfishing. But the European Union fleet in the North-East Atlantic fishes down to depths of 1,500 meters, using bottom-fishing gear that destroys thousand-year-old corals and sponge beds. Even more worrying, up to 80 percent of trawl catches are discarded and thrown away.


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Creature Feature: Polar Bear

(Photo: Ansgar Walk)

We’re sure you’re already familiar with the polar bear: a perennial favorite of zoo-goers, Coke commercials,­ and a poster-child for climate change. But we think these big white bears deserve a second look.


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Creature Feature: Atlantic Puffin

(Photo: nigel_appleton)

Fantastic coloring and undeniable charm makes the Atlantic puffin one of the most popular and recognizable seabird species—but there’s a lot more to these sturdy birds than you’d first expect.  


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Creature Feature: Clownfish

(Photo: michael fontenoth)

The brightly-colored clownfish needs no introduction—the reef fish is one of the most recognizable fish in the world. But aside from being the star of Disney’s “Finding Nemo,” the clownfish has some impressive adaptations and a strange life history.

There are actually 30 species in the clownfish family, but two are the orange-striped fish everyone knows from the big screen. The orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) and the ocellaris clownfish, or false clownfish, (Amphiprion ocellaris) look nearly identical, but they’re actually two different species. If you get close enough, you can tell them apart by counting the number of dorsal spines on their backs—the orange clownfish has 10 and the ocellaris clownfish has 11.


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Rashida Jones Talks Up Oceana and Belize on Jimmy Fallon

(Photo: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)

Last week, Oceana traveled to Belize with actresses Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey. They spent four days visiting the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the entire western hemisphere, and learning about ocean conservation in Belize.

After returning from the trip, Jones talked about Oceana and her experience snorkeling with nurse sharks on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Check out the clip below!


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Creature Feature: Harp Seal

Cute harp seal pup

(Photo: Matthieu Godbout)

There’s no doubt that harp seal pups are perilously cute. But did you know that once they grow up, these seals migrate thousands of miles each year?

Named after the dark, harp-shaped patterns on the backs of adult seals, harp seals are widespread in the chilly waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. They spend their summers far north, and then migrate south each winter to breed on the pack ice.


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Creature Feature: Emperor Penguin

(Photo: sandwichgirl)

Chances are you’ve seen an emperor penguin before—at least in photographs or while watching the movie Happy Feet. But did you know that these charismatic birds are one of the hardiest species on the planet?


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Creature Feature: Blue-spotted Ribbontail Ray

It’s not difficult to spot this stingray. (Photo: Markus Fritze)

Forget the brown and gray stingrays that you’re used to—the blue-spotted ribbontail ray (Taeniura lymma) puts their drab coloring to shame with its olive skin and large, neon-blue spots. Also known as the blue-spotted fantail ray, these vibrantly-colored creatures are found on coral reefs throughout the Indian and western Pacific oceans.


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MSN Healthy Living Shares Seafood's Dirty Secrets

(Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

There’s a lot you don’t know about your seafood. MSN Healthy Living talked with Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless, co-author of The Perfect Protein, to learn about four of the seafood industry’s dirty secrets. Read this excerpt from MSN to learn the secrets behind your seafood and how your choices can help the oceans.


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“Gliderpalooza” Ocean Survey Continues

Students learn about a Rutgers slocum glider (Photo: Norm2006)

Back in September, we told you about “Gliderpalooza,” a collaborative project to launch several ocean-going glider robots off the East Coast to gather scientific data.


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