The Beacon

Blog Tags: Bycatch

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Ocean Lovers!

Red sea stars live around seagrass in Spain

Red sea stars (Echinaster sepositus) around seagrass in Punta Elena, Almería, Spain. (Photo: Oceana / Sergio Gosálvez)

All of us at Oceana would like to wish our readers, ocean activists and Wavemakers a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! While we take time to slow down and reflect over the holidays, we want to express our gratitude for our ocean activists’ dedication and passion. We could not create positive change for our oceans without your help!


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Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Gain New Protections

NMFS created protections for western Atlantic bluefin tuna

Bluefin tuna (Thynnus thynnus). (Photo:  Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

Western Atlantic bluefin tuna are sleek, torpedo-like fish that can power through the ocean’s depths at over 40 miles per hour. They’re top ocean predators, preying on mackerel, herring, squid, eels, and crustaceans, but they’re also some of the most coveted fish in the world.


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Bycatch on the Menu at This Foodie Hotspot in New Orleans

Scorpion fish being served at Carmo in New Orleans

Scorpion fish being served at Carmo, a restaurant in New Orleans. (Photo: Specialus)  

In an attempt to highlight the issue of bycatch and change the general public's opinions on often underappreciated fish, some chefs are serving-up bycatch at their restaurants.


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Sea Turtles Can Get the Bends after Capture in Fishing Gear, Says New Study

A new study found sea turtles can get decompression sickness

A loggerhead sea turtle caught on a longline in the Mediterranean. New research shows sea turtles can get “the bends” after being caught in fishing gear. (Photo: Oceana / Mar Mas)

If you’re an avid scuba diver, you’re probably all too familiar with decompression sickness (DCS)—more commonly known as the bends—a disease that can strike astronauts, divers, and others, and arises after inadequately recompressing after changes in pressure gradients. In the marine environment, scientists long thought that many diving vertebrates—like sea turtles and marine mammals—were immune to DCS through various adaptations.


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On World Fisheries Day, A Look at Oceana’s Work to Create Sustainable Fisheries (Photos)

November 21 is World Fisheries Day

Splendid Perch (Callanthias platei) with Pampanito (Scorpis chilensis), pictured off the Desventuradas Islands off Chile. (Photo: Oceana)

Every day, commercial and artisanal fishermen set out across the world’s oceans in search of their daily catch. Using harpoons, line-and-hooks, trawl nets, gill nets, and many, many more types of fishing gear, they set out to comb the oceans from the coast to the high seas in search of crab, tuna, swordfish, shrimp, and many more species. Of course, such high fishing pressure takes a toll on the oceans—leaving many fish stocks overfished, and critical habitat like coral reefs and seagrass beds in poor condition.


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Photos: Oceana’s Dusky the Shark Visits Washington, D.C. to Raise Awareness for Dusky Sharks

Dusky the shark made his second public appearance around D.C.

Dusky the Shark making his second public appearance in Washington, D.C. last week. (Photo: Vincent Ricardel)

After Dusky the Shark came ashore for the first time this summer at Discovery Channel’s Shark Week kick-off party in California, Oceana’s Dusky the Shark made his second public appearance in Washington, D.C. last week to help raise awareness for his species.


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Dusky Shark Saved from Fishing Gear: The Heartwarming Story of One Incredible Rescue (Photos)

Epic Diving rescued a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear

The Epic Diving crew rescuing a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear. (Photo: Epic Diving / © Debra Canabal)

Oceana launched a campaign to save dusky sharks this past summer, but these fantastic divers beat us to it! Read on to learn about an uplifting story of a dusky shark rescue in the Bahamas.  It’s sure to make your day!

While on their annual A Cotton Photo photography workshop this past spring, the crew of Epic Diving—a dive company operating throughout the Bahamas—had a unique encounter with a dusky shark.


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Federal Government Takes Steps to Better Monitor Bycatch in Southeast and Gulf Fisheries

NMFS is taking steps to improve bycatch reporting

A sea turtle accidentally hooked on a longline. NMFS announced it will work to better its bycatch counting practices in the Gulf and Southeast fisheries. (Photo: Oceana / Mar Mas)

Following Oceana’s recommendation to develop a bycatch—the incidental take of marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine life in fisheries—reporting plan last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced last week that it will be taking steps to more accurately analyze the amount and type of wasted catch in Gulf of Mexico and Southeast region fisheries.


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Deep Sea Sharks in Northeast Atlantic Still at Risk from Overexploitation, Warns Group

Deep sea sharks are over-exploited in Northeast Atlantic waters

Angular rough shark (Oxynotus centrina), a deep-sea shark species pictured off Spain. (Photo: Oceana)

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), a network of over 4,000 scientists, warn that sharks in deep waters in the Northeast Atlantic continue to face a bleak future. ICES provided recommendations for three deep-sea shark species—kite fin sharks, leafscale gulper sharks, and Portguese dogfish sharks—and advise that these sharks should not be involved in fishery activities.


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Oceana Takes Action to Reduce Wasted Catch in East Coast Gillnet Fisheries

Ocean submitted a letter to reduce gillnet bycatch

An illegal Moroccan drift gillnet boat hauls in a sea turtle. (Photo: Oceana / Jesus Renedo)

Last month, Oceana submitted a proposal aimed at reducing the amount of wasted catch in New England and Mid-Atlantic gillnet fisheries, which throw away 16 percent of their total catch every year. The Northeast gillnet fisheries were identified in Oceana’s Wasted Catch report as one of the nine most wasteful fisheries in the United States as a result of their bycatch.


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