• I see carnivorous sponges

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: December 13, 2013

    No, it’s not a figment of my imagination haunting my nightmares, but a real life form found by Oceana at the Chella bank, a seamount just off the southeast coast of Spain. But this place holds even more secrets than meat-eating sponges; it’s practically brimming with biodiversity. Deep-sea coral reefs, cetaceans, octopuses, sharks and a multitude of fish can all be found around this set of elevations, with the highest  one found at 80 meters deep.

  • Meet the Perch

    Author: Mike Michalitsis
    Date: December 3, 2013

    The perch is originally a freshwater fish, found in lakes and streams, but since it’s very euryhaline, which means it can adapt to a wide range of salinities, it can also be found in brackish waters. Found both in Europe and Asia, this fish has also been introduced in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

  • Meet the Goldsinny Wrasse

    Author: Mike Michalitsis
    Date: November 15, 2013

    The Goldsinny Wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) usually lives in highly vegetated areas  in Kattegat,  the Danish Belts, and sometimes all the way up to Estonia. The little bright orange fish can usually be recognized by a black spot located right between the dorsal fin and the tail.

  • Empty nets – the value of no fish

    Author: Peter Pierrou
    Date: November 12, 2013

    Last week the cream of the crop of Baltic Sea experts met in Stockholm to discuss how to put a price on the services that our ecosystems provide. Scientists, researchers, foundations, authorities and NGOs – everybody was asked to put their view forward.

    The concept of ecosystem services have been around for quite a while, but in the last couple of years it has risen to become somewhat of an “it-thing” among Baltic Sea region environmentalists.

    You want proof?

  • Happy Halloween: Viperfish terrors

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: October 31, 2013

    While looking through images from our Ranger expedition, we came upon this creepy creature that eerily looks like its wearing a skull mask.

    Turns out even its name sends a bit of a shiver down the spine. This member of the dragonfish family is called a sloane's viperfish  and currently holds the world record for the largest teeth relative to head size (yikes). Those teeth don't mess around either; they are so large that the viperfish has to open its mouth to make its jaws vertical before it can even swallow prey!

  • Oceana meets with EU Commission to address concerns on Balearic oil drilling plans.

    Author: Nicolas Fournier
    Date: October 30, 2013

    Earlier this week, a group of politicians and civil society organizations met with Karl Falkenberg, Director General of DG Environment - the environmental arm of the European Commission.  The delegations came to Brussels with a clear message of strong opposition to the Spanish government’s plans to develop offshore oil activities on the Mediterranean coast. The plans would start with seismic surveys of an area as big as 4,200 km2, between the coast of Valencia and the Balearic Islands, using large underwater explosions to study the seabed and discover pockets of hydrocarbons.

  • EU Parliament rejects most harmful fishing subsidies in latest vote

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: October 28, 2013

    We’ve got excellent news to share about our fight to end harmful fishing subsidies that fuel overfishing. Last week, the European Parliament voted on the EMFF, the financial mechanism of Europe’s fisheries policy, which determines where funding is allocated. We were happy to see that for the most part, MEPs understood that they needed to vote in line with the ambitions and objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy reform.

  • It’s time to stop fishing for short term fixes

    Author: Xavier Pastor
    Date: October 21, 2013

    (This piece was first published on Parliament Magazine’s website)

  • A new era for European fisheries?

    Author: Sarah Todd
    Date: October 15, 2013

    As the European Parliament plenary vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) approaches, we need to put pressure on MEPs to make sure that they vote for a fund that is in line with the new Common Fisheries Policy’s objectives. The new EMFF will define the way aid is granted to the European fishing sector for the next seven years. This is a unique opportunity for the European Union to put an end to the ineffective and wasteful practices of the past, and it should not be missed.

  • Why preserving deep-sea corals is good for fish (and for us)

    Author: Natividad Sánchez
    Date: October 9, 2013

    We often see it on TV – beautiful tropical coral reefs with sun rays travelling through blue water and colourful fish swimming around happily. But what happens hundreds of metres below the surface? Well, basically the same thing – except the image is that of cold water coral reefs in total darkness with stranger looking fish swimming happily around.