Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.
Each year, millions of sharks are slaughtered for their fins to meet the demand for shark fin soup. Over the past few years, several U.S. states passed laws against the trade in shark fins to help shut down the market. In the recent issue of Oceana magazine, we reveal how a government agency is taking steps to undermine these bans.
Each year, Oceana undertakes several scientific expeditions to explore and gather data about our ocean’s many ecosystems. In the recent issue of Oceana magazine, we cover three of these exciting expeditions from last year. Read an excerpt below, or visit the full article here.
By Randy Sturgill
The waters off the North Carolina coast are known as the “graveyard of the Atlantic.” Since the 16th century, thousands of ships have wrecked on the area’s deadly capes and shoals. Even today, mariners still dread these places, including familiar places like Cape Hattaras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear.
Ocean conservationists talk a lot about "bycatch" and "discards." But what exacty do these terms mean? In each issue of Oceana magazine, fisheries scientist and Oceana board member Dr. Daniel Pauly breaks down a commonly used fisheries term. In the recent issue, Dr. Pauly explains these technical terms and how they contribue to overfishing.
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered species in the U.S. and the rarest of all the large whales. Commercial whaling reduced their population to just a few hundred individuals, and the species is still struggling to recover. Their migration route along the East Coast and habit of feeding at the surface puts them at great risk of being struck and killed by ships. Now the government is planning to allow potentially deadly oil and gas exploration right along the whale’s migration route.
The New Year promises to bring many exciting changes here at Oceana. The first among many exciting pieces of news is that Oceana recently hired a new Vice President to lead conservation efforts in our Belize office—Janelle Chanona.
Janelle, a long time anchor for Channel 5 in Belize, most recently ran her own media and production company. She has advised several environmental groups in Belize (including Oceana). She is a graduate of St. Johns College in Belize, of Loyola College in Baltimore in the United States and received a Master’s degree with distinction from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. A passionate diver, she is a frequent visitor to Belize's barrier reef, the largest such reef in the Western Hemisphere.
The offshore wind industry rang in 2014 on a high note: both the Cape Wind and Block Island projects will qualify for the critically important Investment Tax Credit (ITC)! These two projects are in the running to be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. But because Congress allowed the ITC for offshore wind to expire on December 31st, they also might be the only two wind farms built in U.S. waters.
Everyone here at Oceana is eagerly looking forward to a new year of campaigning for our oceans. But before we set off, I’d like to look back at our accomplishments throughout 2013. Just a few months ago I marked 10 years of working for Oceana, and I can easily say that it was our most successful year yet. I’d like to call out a few of our many victories in particular…
Sweeping fisheries reforms in Europe
In the ongoing fight to protect the distinct population of great white sharks off the coast of California and Mexico, Oceana submitted a critical analysis of the federal Biological Review Team’s (BRT) status report used by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as the basis for their decision not to list this West Coast population of apex predators under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
On Monday, 25 U.S. Senators joined the growing chorus of voices calling for an extension of vital clean energy tax credits that are set to expire in two weeks unless Congress acts.