The Beacon

Oceana’s blog about the latest ocean news, policy and science.

Ocean Roundup: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Catch Quotas Raised, Kemp’s Ridley Turtles Stranding in High Numbers, and More

ICCAT raised catch quotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna

Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thynnus thynnus). The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) has raised catch quotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna for the first time since 1990. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

- This past weekend, more than 45 endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles became stranded on Cape Cod beaches after suffering from hypothermia. Animal strandings are typically a bad thing, but in this case, say scientists, strandings mean that the sea turtles can be rescued before dying from hypothermia. The Boston Globe


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Photos: Happy Manatee Awareness Month!

November is Manatee Awareness Month

(Photo: Oceana)

Each November marks Manatee Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness and educate others on these gentle giants. This celebratory month falls right around the start of manatee’s winter season—November 15—when manatees start to move into warmer waters as temperatures drop below 68° Fahrenheit, according to Defenders of Wildlife.


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CEO Note: Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth Announce New Technology to Track Global Fishing Activity

Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth released Global Fishing Watch

A trawler fishing in the Gulf of Bothnia, Sweden. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Mingue

Monitoring global fishing activity is a monumental task. I’d like to introduce you to a groundbreaking new tool, created by Google, SkyTruth, and Oceana, called Global Fishing Watch. Using satellite data emitted by fishing vessels, the program gives people around the world a simple online platform to visualize, track, and share information about ocean fishing activity.


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Ocean Roundup: Humpback Whale Scars Can Reveal Migration Patterns, Sea Star Die-Offs Linked to Virus, and More

Humpback whale scars can be used to identify migration patterns

A humpback whale off Monterey Bay, California. Scientists have found that humpback whale scars can be used to identify their migration patterns. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- In a new study, researchers say that identifying scars on humpback whales from killer whales and cookiecutter sharks is helping scientists better understand their migration patterns. Because cookiecutter sharks are typically found in warmer waters, whereas killer whales are widely distributed, scars from cookiecutters show that humpbacks recently passed through warmer waters. Independent Online


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Oceana’s New Report Highlights Uses, Benefits of Global Fishing Watch Technology

Oceana released a new report on Global Fishing Watch

A trawler fishing in the Gulf of Bothnia, Sweden. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

Illegal and unsustainable fishing activity is taking a tremendous toll on the world’s oceans, stripping them of healthy fish populations and damaging precious ecosystems. Not only does the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimate that nearly one-third of assessed marine fish stocks have been overfished, but they also estimate that 90 percent were either fully fished or overfished in 2011.


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Photos: Oceana’s Dusky the Shark Visits Washington, D.C. to Raise Awareness for Dusky Sharks

Dusky the shark made his second public appearance around D.C.

Dusky the Shark making his second public appearance in Washington, D.C. last week. (Photo: Vincent Ricardel)

After Dusky the Shark came ashore for the first time this summer at Discovery Channel’s Shark Week kick-off party in California, Oceana’s Dusky the Shark made his second public appearance in Washington, D.C. last week to help raise awareness for his species.


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Ocean News: Loggerhead Sea Turtles Can Get the Bends, Global Sea Surface Temperatures at Highest Point, and More

Loggerhead sea turtles can get the bends after interaction with fisheries

A loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. New research shows loggerheads can get the bends after commercial fishing capture. (Photo:  Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

- The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that it was adding Pacific bluefin tuna to their "red list" of threatened species during the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney. The group cited its massive demand in Asian sushi and sashimi markets as reasons for population declines over the past 22 years. Business Insider


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Spiny Dogfish Catch a Break—No More Shark Finning in the U.S.!

Shark finning for spiny dogfish has been prohibited in the U.S.

A spiny dogfish (Squalis acanthias) in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. (Photo: NOAA’s National Ocean Service / Flickr Creative Commons)

Did you know that shark finning is still allowed in the U.S.?  Despite the finning prohibition ushered in by the 2010 Shark Conservation Act, some east coast states were still allowing fishermen to fin spiny dogfish sharks at sea as long as the removed fins did not weigh more than five percent of the bodies onboard the vessel.


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Video: Learn How Global Fishing Watch Can be Used to Tackle Illegal Fishing

Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth released Global Fishing Watch

A trawler fishing in the Gulf of Bothnia, Sweden. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

As you may have heard yesterday on The Beacon, Oceana, Google, and SkyTruth announced their new platform, Global Fishing Watch, that uses satellite data to track fishing activity around the world.


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Dusky Shark Saved from Fishing Gear: The Heartwarming Story of One Incredible Rescue (Photos)

Epic Diving rescued a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear

The Epic Diving crew rescuing a dusky shark entangled in fishing gear. (Photo: Epic Diving / © Debra Canabal)

Oceana launched a campaign to save dusky sharks this past summer, but these fantastic divers beat us to it! Read on to learn about an uplifting story of a dusky shark rescue in the Bahamas.  It’s sure to make your day!

While on their annual A Cotton Photo photography workshop this past spring, the crew of Epic Diving—a dive company operating throughout the Bahamas—had a unique encounter with a dusky shark.


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