The Beacon

Recent Baltimore Sun Articles Highlight Issues with Federal Seafood Fraud Enforcement

The Baltimore Sun wrote articles on the decline of seafood fraud enforcement

(Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

The chances are that you’ve eaten seafood sometime recently—whether that be a fish fillet burger, a shrimp cocktail, sushi, or more. But, the seafood you consumed may not be what you think it is—and could be another species, or farmed when it was labeled as wild.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: UN Urges Mangrove Protection, Warming Pacific Waters Could Unlock Layer of Methane, and More

The UN has emphasized the importance of protecting mangroves

Mangroves in Florida. Protecting mangroves has been an emphasis at UN climate talks this week. (Photo: Phil's 1stPix / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Authorities are concerned that oil from a two-mile long oil slick in New Jersey’s Sandy Hook Bay could threaten an endangered population of seals that migrate through the area each winter. Officials are still investigating the cause of the spill. NBC


Continue reading...

Coral Reefs Turning Silent from Overfishing, Other Human Impacts

Coral reefs are becoming silent from human activity

A coral community off of Chile. (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

Did you know that coral reefs are home to about one fourth of all marine life? As the most diverse of the marine ecosystems, they’re aptly nicknamed “rainforests of the sea,” says the Smithsonian. With all of the spawning, feeding, and other activity occurring on coral reefs, it’s no surprise that coral reefs are actually pretty noisy environments.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whales Frequenting New York City Waters, Oceans House Over 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces, and More

There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans

Marine litter on a beach. (Photo: Bo Eide / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new study has but a number on the amount of plastic floating in the oceans: at least 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic, weighing nearly 269,000 tons, are floating around the oceans. The team found that tiny plastic pieces made up the majority of the plastic in the oceans. Smithsonian


Continue reading...

Creature Feature: Magellanic Penguin

Magellanic penguins live around South America and the Falkland islands

A Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus). (Photo: Ronald Woan / Flickr Creative Commons)

You’re probably familiar with at least a few penguin species—like the emperor penguin, which got its claim to fame in the movie Happy Feet, or the Galapagos penguin, which is the only species naturally found north of the Equator. In this Creature Feature, we’re shedding light on a penguin that’s less well known but equally adorable: the Magellanic penguin.


Continue reading...

Ocean Roundup: Rufa Red Knot Receives Federal Protection, New Ancient Mollusk Discovered in the Arctic, and More

Rufa red knots gained protection as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) at Mispillion Harbor, Delaware. Red knots received protection under the Endangered Species Act yesterday as threatened. (Photo: Greg Breese / USFWS / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Yesterday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rufa subspecies of the red knot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The new rule prohibits killing, hunting, or harming these shorebirds in any form. The Associated Press


Continue reading...

Video: Incredible Sperm Whale Birth Caught on Film

A sperm whale was caught giving birth on film

A pod of sperm whales and the new calf off the Azores. (Photo: Caters TV / YouTube)

Spotting elusive, deep-diving marine animals in the wild is certainly a treat for anyone, but catching them engaging in particularly rare behavior like giving birth or bubble-netting is especially rewarding. Recently, wildlife photographer Kurt Amsler was in the right place at the right time for capturing one of those very moments with sperm whales.


Continue reading...