The Beacon: Madeleine Simon's blog

Photos: Spanish Supreme Court Approves Offshore Drilling around the Canary Islands

Offshore drilling in the Canary Islands will harm marine species.

A male barred hogfish (Bodianus scrofa) pictured in Spain during a 2009 Ranger Expedition. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Carlos Suarez) 

Last week, the Spanish Supreme Court ruled in favor of oil drilling in the Canary Islands. The ruling approves permits for Repsol, a Spanish multinational oil and gas company, to search for hydrocarbons on the eastern coastlines of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote islands. This project will harm up to 25 marine areas and 82 protected species that were documented by Oceana during its expedition in this zone.


Continue reading...

Chile Announces New Policy Against Illegal Fishing

Chilean Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi)

Chilean Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen) 

During the “Our Ocean” conference held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, the Chilean government announced a new national policy to fight Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing, as well as their commitment to the New York agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks—a move that gives the Chilean Navy increased resources to conduct enforcement operations in the high seas.


Continue reading...

Photos: Happy Cephalopod Week!

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) photographed in Portugal

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) photographed in Portugal during a 2011 Oceana Ranger Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

You may have heard of the elusive vampire squid, a species that emits mucus covered in bioluminescence to trick its predators, or the dumbo octopus, the deepest-living of all the octopus species. Creepy and otherworldly as they may seem, each of these spineless creatures plays an important role in ocean ecosystems.


Continue reading...

Creature Feature: Day Octopus

Day octopus (Octopus Cyanea) photographed in Kona, Hawaii.

Day octopus (Octopus Cyanea) photographed in Kona, Hawaii. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Peter Liu Photography)

In honor of cephalopod week, which celebrates squid, octopus, nautiluses, and cuttlefish all over the world, we’re taking a close look at one of the cephalopod family’s finest masters of disguise: the day octopus. This clever invertebrate has an extraordinary ability to camouflage, making it stand out among its fellow mollusks.


Continue reading...

Photos: A Beautiful Glimpse into Denmark’s Little Belt

Goldsinny-wrasse in Little Belt

Goldsinny-wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) swims past sponges (Haliclona oculata), plumose anemones (Metridium senile) and brown algae in Little Belt during a 2013 Baltic Coastal expedition. (Photo: Oceana in Europe / Carlos Minguell / Flickr)

Tucked between the Jutland mainland and the island of Fyn lies Denmark’s Little Belt: a marine strait composed of lagoons and common eelgrass beds that’s home to a diverse array of marine life. The southern part of Little Belt is protected under Europe’s Natura 2000 network—a network of protected areas that form the backbone of marine protection in the European Union—but a northern region remains unprotected and exposed to pollution, mussel dredging, and fisheries bycatch.


Continue reading...

Video: Bottlenose Dolphins Surf Australia’s Waves Better than the Pros

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops)

Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops) (Photo: Oceana) 

Bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Western Australia are stealing the spotlight from Aussie surfers, and are proving that humans aren’t the only ones capable of catching that perfect wave.


Continue reading...

Polar Bears to be Considered for International Protection as Migratory Species

A polar bear female (Ursus maritimus) with cubs along the Beaufort Sea

A polar bear female (Ursus maritimus) with cubs along the Beaufort Sea (Photo: Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons) 

Currently, polar bears are listed as a “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Fortunately, these marine mammals could receive increased protection in a few short months.


Continue reading...

Video: Polar Bear Cam Provides Unique View into Arctic Life

Scientists observe polar bears in the Arctic through video camera collars

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) (Photo: Maryanneneslon / Flickr Creative Commons)

Warning: This video contains footage of polar bears consuming their prey. 

It looks like the famed Panda Cam at the National Zoo has a new rival. Recently-released footage of a polar bear in the Arctic  is giving scientists and polar bear-enthusiasts alike a glimpse into the elusive lives of these endangered animals—and giving pandas at the National Zoo a run for their money.


Continue reading...

FDA to Update Mercury Consumption Advisory

Blue fin tuna is on the FDA's advisory for mercury consumption

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in a tuna cage near the water’s surface. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating their mercury-advisory guidelines for the first time in ten years, and is taking a new approach to advising mercury consumption: encouraging informed intake rather than avoidance.


Continue reading...

Photos: Celebrating the Most Beautiful Coral Reefs for World Ocean’s Day

Yellow-brown wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) over a reef community off Chile

Yellow-brown wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) over a reef community off Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

This Sunday marks World Oceans Day, a day officially recognized by the United Nations to honor everything our oceans have to offer. We fight for the oceans every day at Oceana, but today, we’re celebrating one of the most beautiful—and threatened— organisms living under our seas: coral reefs. These precious ecosystems provide habitat for thousands of species and protect our shores from storms and sea level rise, but unfortunately, coral reefs are under threat from ocean acidification, deep-sea trawling, and pollution.


Continue reading...

Browse by Date