The Beacon

Ocean Roundup: 20 Coral Species to Gain Federal Protection, Shell Files New Plan for Arctic Drilling, and More

20 coral species to gain protection

Rough cactus coral, one of the new coral species to be listed as threatened. (Photo: FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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 


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Oceana’s 2014 Balearic Seamount Expedition: Diaries from the Field

Oceana ventured to the Balearic islands to record seamounts

The SOCIB R/V vessel used during this expedition, pictured during a ROV immersion at Fort d'en Moreu, Cabrera, Balearic islands, Spain. (Photo: Oceana in Europe / Flickr)

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.


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Court Requests Changes to the North Pacific Fisheries Observer Program be Reconsidered

NMFS must reconsider changes to the North Pacific observer program

A National Marine Fisheries Service observer checks the dimensions of a net and its catch. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Marine Observer Program)

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.


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Ocean Roundup: Florida Receives Federal Help for Oyster Recovery, Climate Change Linked to Iceland’s Puffin Decline, and More

Puffin nesting has declined in Iceland

An Icelandic puffin. (Photo: Martin Ystenes / Flickr Creative Commons)

- 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


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Photos: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean Youth to the Wonder of the Sea

Oceana in Belize takes Belizean youth to the coast

Belizean boys on the trip to the Lighthouse Reed Atoll. (Photo: Oceana in Belize / Alexander Ellis / Flickr)

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.


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than Three Weeks until Porbeagle Sharks are Protected

Porbeagles will be protected under CITES on September 14

A porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus). (Photo: NMFS, E. Hoffmayer, S. Iglésias and R. McAuley, via Wikimedia Commons)

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.


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Ocean Roundup: Rare Blue Lobster Caught in Maine, Cephalopod Skin Providing Groundwork for New Technology, and More

Cephalopods have been used in new technology

Common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) in Portugal. Cephalopods, like octopuses, have been inspiration for new technology. (Photo:  Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- 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


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