Stop Ocean Pollution

Ocean News: June 2014 Marked the Hottest on Record, Microplastics Worse for Crabs than Thought, and More

A shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

A shore crab (Carcinus maenas) captured during an Oceana expedition to the Baltic Sea. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- In 1997, nearly 4.8 million pieces of Legos spilled into the Atlantic when a container ship was hit by a massive wave. These Lego pieces—many of them sea-themed like octopus—are still washing up on beaches in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years after the spill. BBC News


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Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events Get the Spotlight on Capitol Hill

Stranded sea lion pup

Stranded sea lion pup. (Photo: Kellan / Flickr Creative Commons)

Earlier this week, marine mammals like California sea lions, common dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins were the focus of one Congressional Briefing. Hosted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Congressman Bill Keating of Massachusetts and Congressman Jared Huffman of California, the discussion centered on scientists from The Marine Mammal Center and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center speaking about unusual levels of marine mammal stranding in 2013, and how funding cuts are deeply affecting their ability to respond.


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Creature Feature: Ochre Sea Star

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus)

Ochre Sea Star (Pisaster ochraceus). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / canopic)

Whether you know them as starfish or sea stars, these five-arm invertebrates will always be recognized by their unique shape and vibrant colors that have been decorating the seafloor for millions of years. This month, we’re taking a look at the ochre sea star and what this keystone species can tell us about the health of our oceans.


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Global Issue of Marine Plastics is Gathering Significant Media Attention

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nearing a plastic bag

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) nearing a plastic bag. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Bag Monster) 

From the straws in your fountain drink to the soles of our shoes, plastics are a part of our daily lives, and we’re surrounded by them without often realizing it. Unfortunately, as plastic waste makes its way from our households to our oceans, fish and other marine organisms are not only surrounded by plastics too, but ingesting it.


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Ocean News: Oil Exploration Approved for the Canary Islands, Emperor Penguins Found to be Adaptable, and More

Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in Antarctica.

Emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri) in Antarctica. (Photo:  Martha de Jong-Lantink / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Spain gave the green light on Tuesday for oil exploration off the Canary Islands. Oceana is opposed to this decision, as it could affect 25 marine areas and 82 protected species. Oceana


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Ocean News: Crabs Can Hear After All, New Zealand Rejects Offshore Mining Project, and More

An illegal driftnet fishing vessel on the high seas off of France.

An illegal driftnet fishing vessel on the high seas off of France. (Photo: Oceana / Thierry Lannoy)

- Several Members of Parliament have called out the UK government for acting “too slow” on marine conservation. A program launched four years ago called for protection of 127 areas of marine habitat, but only about one-fifth of the areas have received protection so far. BBC News UK


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Portraits from the Gulf: Al Sunseri

Al Sunseri, co-owner and president of P&J Oyster Company.

Al Sunseri, co-owner and president of P&J Oyster Company. (Photo: Oceana / Joshua Prindiville)

April 20 marked the four-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In the process of filming a short film about the aftermath of the spill, “Drill, Spill, Repeat,” Oceana staff met Al Sunseri, co-owner and president of P&J Oyster Company. His company has been in business for 138 years. Oceana staff sat down with Sunseri to discuss how the oyster industry is struggling four years after the spill. This is the final story in a three-part blog series that highlights the many faces of the Gulf’s recovery.


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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.


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Ocean News: "Our Ocean" Conference Closes with Major Victories for the Oceans

Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, an area in the Pacific Remote Islands Ma

Pink coral gardens of Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, an area in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument that Obama committed to expanding yesterday.  (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Flickr Creative Commons)

- On Monday, the president of the Pacific island nation Kiribati announced that he’ll ban all commercial fishing in the country's Phoenix Islands Protected Area by 2015. Though these islands are small, they're home to some of the most abundant coral reef archipelagos in the Pacific.


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Seafood Industry Severely Threatened by Climate Change, Warns Report

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean Sea

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen) 

We all know that climate change poses a huge threat to the oceans, including rising sea levels and coral reef bleaching, but you may be wondering how that trickles down to your dinner plate. The overarching theme of the recent 1,552-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) found that climate change is undeniable, mostly caused by human activities, and is occurring globally.


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