Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Each month, The Beacon features one Oceana staff member, highlighting their role at Oceana and personal history with the oceans. The month’s spotlight is on Oceana’s seafood fraud senior campaign director, Beth Lowell. Take a look below to learn more, and check out previous staff spotlights here.
Shark fin soup was once a delicacy in Asian nations reserved for the upper class, but in recent years, has become more readily available to both upper and middle classes. Now common at weddings, banquets, and business meetings, China has emerged as a nation with the largest market for shark fin sales.
- Ten sea turtles that were rehabilitated after swallowing fishing hooks in the Gulf of Mexico were released into the wild over the weekend. These ten turtles are among 213 endangered kemps ridley sea turtles brought to the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies this year after swallowing fishing hooks around Mississippi. NOLA Media Group
This Saturday marks the first World Shorebird Day, a day to celebrate these beautiful birds and raise awareness for their conservation. Shorebirds nest and migrate along beaches and grasslands, and are known to have some of the most impressive migrations in the animal kingdom.
If you spent this past Labor Day weekend at the beach, the chances are that you saw a shorebird—like a willet or sandpiper—wading in the sand, scurrying from waves or poking its bill into the surf zone to look for food.
- Scientists say that the Gulf of Maine is warming 99 percent faster than the world’s oceans. This presents serious issues for fisheries, as many commercial important species like cod, herring, and northern shrimp are moving to colder waters. CBC News
In a move that will help to turn the tide on seafood fraud, the California legislature passed a bill (SB 1138) late last Friday evening that will help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions for their health and for the health of our oceans. The Senate passed the bill in a vote of 25-10, directly following passage off the Assembly floor in a vote of 57-15.
Any time you spot a marine mammal in the wild is a special occurrence—simply from observing a dolphin at the beach or kayaking alongside a manatee—but sometimes, they put on a really good show for you too.
- NOAA recently made amendments to its bluefin tuna management plan in an effort to reduce the number of bluefin tuna killed by commercial fishing vessels. The new rules say that commercial fishermen cannot catch giant bluefin tuna—fish longer than 81 inches—in the Gulf of Mexico or western Atlantic. NPR
On September 14, 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will add seven sharks and rays to Appendix II, meaning that global trade of these species will be restricted. At Oceana, we work to protect marine species from overexploitation every day, so we’re thrilled about the new listings. To celebrate, we’ll be spotlighting all seven species that are receiving protections on September 14 in a series of countdown blog posts on The Beacon.