Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Earlier this year, Oceana released a new report, “Wasted Catch,” that looked at the dirtiest fisheries in the United States for bycatch, and found that some U.S. fisheries discard more than half of everything they catch. This feature takes a close look at these fisheries and other issues surrounding bycatch.
As you likely know, natural predators aren’t the only threats to sea turtles and marine mammals in the open ocean—many manmade threats, like derelict fishing gear, pollution, and plastics, constantly endanger marine life. Fortunately, a recent encounter between a leatherback sea turtle and a derelict fishing net had a positive ending for the turtle.
Earlier this month, several conservation groups, including Oceana, announced plans to file a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect sperm whales from deadly, mile-long drift gillnets used in the California drift gillnet fishery.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced it will list 20 new species of coral as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, largely because of climate change. Found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, these corals are also threatened by overfishing, runoff, and coastal construction. The Associated Press
As you may have previously read on The Beacon, Oceana in Europe recently wrapped-up a ten-day expedition to the Balearic seamounts off Spain to determine the need for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the region.
Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska ruled that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must reconsider recent changes to the North Pacific observer program. NMFS restructured the observer program in 2013 to increase observers on small hook-and-line halibut boats in the Gulf of Alaska fleet and randomize the deployment of observers on vessels, but the agency significantly underestimated the cost of these changes.
- Florida is receiving $6 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for oyster recovery in Apalachicola Bay in northwest Florida—a fishery that crashed in 2012 and 2013. The money will go towards oyster recovery, oyster monitoring, community assistance, and other outlets. WCTV
Oceana in Belize has been busy instilling a sense of wonder and stewardship for the oceans in Belizean youth. Earlier this month, they took a group of underprovided boys, all under the age of 14, to Belize’s beautiful coral isles. For many of them, it was their first time to the ocean— meaning it was the first time that they were able to see this famous, stunning resource of their own country.
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.
- New York City may seem like the last place to spot whales, but these cetaceans are making a comeback in the area. This summer, an eco-tourism group has spotted 52 whales alone. CBS News