The Beacon

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

Oceana Magazine: Q&A with Justin Winters, Executive Director of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Justin Winters is the executive director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Justin Winters, executive director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Earlier this year, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation gave a $3 million grant to Oceana, playing a crucial role in helping Oceana advance conservation efforts in both the Pacific and Arctic oceans. This Q&A with Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation executive director Justin Winters explores why the Foundation chose to partner with Oceana. This piece was originally published in the summer 2014 issue of Oceana magazine. Take a look below to learn more.


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Video: Leonardo DiCaprio Speaks up for the Planet at UN Climate Summit

Leonardo DiCaprio Spoke at the UN Climate Summit

Leonardo DiCaprio speaking at the UN Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York City. (Photo: The Daily Conversation / YouTube)

Earlier this week, actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio addressed world leaders at the opening of the UN Climate Summit about climate change. His moving speech noted that clear evidence of climate change is in effect, ranging from shifting weather patterns to acidifying oceans, and urged these leaders to step up and take action before it’s too late.


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Ocean Roundup: Gulf Businesses Won’t Return BP Payouts, Whales May Have More than One Spleen, and More

Some whales may have more than one spleen

A humpback whale. Some humpback whale specimens had more than one spleen. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- California’s Dungeness crab fishery is one of the state’s most valuable fisheries, but many of the crab traps get lost at sea. Some commercial fishermen in that industry recently paired with the University of California Davis to collect old derelict traps, and have caught 556 since July. Phys.org


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Will EU Member States Live Up To Their Common Fisheries Policy Commitments?

European Union nations have commitments to Common Fisheries Policy

Fishing vessels off the port of Gilleleje, Denmark. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

Earlier this month, Oceana joined European Union nations and other groups at the Baltic Sea Fisheries Forum to discuss restoring Baltic fisheries. This blog, which will appeal to fishery and policy lovers, discusses the difficulties EU Member States face as they near 2015, the year Member States have committed to rebuild fish stocks in the EU. This blog originally appeared on Oceana in Europe’s blog. Take a look below to learn more.


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President Obama Designates World’s Largest Marine Protected Area in Pacific Ocean

President Obama Designates World’s Largest Marine Protected Area

Coral at Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the areas protected under President Obama’s designation. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Flickr Creative Commons)

In a big move for the oceans, President Obama announced today that he’s creating the world’s largest marine protected area. The move expands the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument by more than six times its original size from nearly 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000. The area will protect Johnston Atoll, Wake Atoll, and Jarvis Island, and keep them off-limits to activities such as commercial fishing and energy exploration.


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Ocean Roundup: Giant Cuttlefish Decline Remains a Mystery, President Obama Creates World's Largest MPA, and More

Giant cuttlefish decline in Australia is a mystery to scientists

An Australian giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama). Giant cuttlefish are declining in South Australian waters. (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Federal officials say the endangered Hawaiian monk seal population may be making a slow comeback. Pup numbers have slowly increased from previous years, from 103 individuals in 2013 to 121 this year. The Dodo


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Video: Scuba Divers Rescue Entangled Manta Ray from Fishing Line

Divers untangled a manta ray from fishing line

A diver untangling the manta ray from fishing gear. (Photo: Oceano VideoSub / YouTube)

Manta rays are some of the most beautiful and eloquent fish in the ocean, but also one of the most threatened.  Harvested for their skin, cartilage, and gill rakers in traditional Chinese medicine, these cartilaginous species are subject to overfishing, bycatch, and a range of other threats.


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In Honor of Sea Otter Awareness Week, Ten Fun Facts about Sea Otters

Sea Otter Awareness Week Celebrates sea otters

A sea otter. (Photo: Alan D. Wilson / Naturespicsonline.com)

There’s no denying that sea otters rank right alongside baby sea turtles and tiny clownfish as some of the cutest ocean inhabitants. Fortunately, these creatures receive an entire week each September to be celebrated through Sea Otter Awareness Week – a time for scientists, conservationists, and the general public to celebrate these adorable marine mammals and learn more about their key roles in marine environments.


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Ocean Roundup: Blue Crabs Keeping Invasive Green Crabs in Line, Sargasso Sea Less Biodiverse than in Previous Years, and More

Blue crabs are patrolling green crabs off Canada

A blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) (Photo: Jan Stefka / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that there’s much less biodiversity in the Sargasso Sea than there was in the 1970s. The scientists noted that 13 species reported to be present over 40 years ago, including worms and some crustaceans, were not found in these samples. Phys.org


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Seismic Surveys and Sharks: A Bad Combination

Seismic airguns threaten sharks in the Mediterranean.

A great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias). (Photo: Elias Levy / Flickr Creative Commons)

Proposed seismic surveys in both Europe and the U.S. are threatening a range of marine animals and important habitat. In this blog post, originally posted on Oceana in Europe’s blog, some of the many shark species at risk from oil exploration in the Gulf of Valencia are presented. Take a look below to learn more.


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