The Beacon

Blog Tags: Photos

Photo of the Week: Shallow Dive

baltic sea diver

Oceana diver in a shallow seabed in the Baltic. © Oceana/Carlos Suarez

Members of our Baltic Expedition crew have been diving in the waters around Finland's Åland Islands. Even in the shallow waters pictured here, the poor visibility felt "like diving at night," according to diver and deck coordinator Jesús Molino. In this water, it would be hard to see your hand sticking out in front of your face.

Even close to the shore, the water reached depths of up to 100 meters. The crew sent in remote operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey the seabed in these deep waters before heading in themselves.

The divers braved dark, icy waters to film the marine life in the waters near these isolated islands. They found a variety of shrimps, eels, isopods, fish like the fourhorn sculpin, and even a submerged bird egg.

The crew has spent the last few days in the Åland Islands, and will set off on the next leg of their journey tonight. They will be sailing north for about 15 hours to reach their next working site in the Baltic Sea.

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Brian Skerry Showcases His 'Ocean Soul'

Photographer Brian Skerry calls his new National Geographic book, “Ocean Soul,” a love story – and he clearly means it. Seeing his photographs and listening to him speak, it’s obvious how deeply he cares about the oceans and their condition.

At a sold-out National Geographic Live event in DC last night to officially mark the book’s publication, Skerry showed photographs from around the world and shared some of his experiences working for National Geographic documenting some of the 98% of the world’s biomass that lives in the oceans.

And experiences he has certainly had, from living on the seafloor for seven days straight to being the first photojournalist allowed on a Canadian seal hunting boat in over a decade.

And even more striking was Skerry’s clear enthusiasm for the oceans and all the life they contain. He talked about ocean photography as peeling back layers of mystery. Surrounded by chaos, he said, his solution is to “focus on individual behavior” while striving to be an “artistic interpreter of all I see.”

Part of that interpretation is to tell a more complete story by showing not only the beauty of the oceans, but also the troubles they face. Photographing bluefin tuna, Skerry said his goal was to foster “wildlife appreciation” rather than just document seafood. About overfishing, he said, “The ocean’s not a grocery store, we can’t continue to take without expecting consequences.”

During the talk, Skerry showed photographs he has taken of harp seals, lemon sharks, right whales, leatherback sea turtles, and humboldt squid, in addition to reef fish, shrim, and tunicates.

He ended with images taken in marine reserves, where he said his goal is to show the abundance, diversity and resilience of the oceans when they are protected. “At every level, it seemed to be in harmony,” he said of one such area.

You can see photographs from “Ocean Soul” and watch another talk by Skerry. Video from last night’s event will be posted by National Geographic.

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New Issue of Oceana Magazine: Ocean Heroes and More

The new issue of Oceana magazine is hot off the press! In this issue, you’ll learn about our latest news and victories, and lots more, including:

*Profiles of our 2011 Ocean Heroes, shark-loving Sophi Bromenshenkel and sea lion-rescuing Peter Wallerstein

*A thought-provoking Q&A with environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

*The lowdown on our new campaign to combat Seafood Fraud

*A report on this summer’s expedition in the icy Baltic Sea

*Photos from our recent events: Hamptons Splash, Christie’s Green Auction and World Oceans Day

Check it out and pass it on!

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Photo of the Week: Atlantic Puffin

atlantic puffin

© Oceana/Carlos Suarez

Our crew aboard the Ranger spotted this charming seabird near Spain’s Gibraltar Strait.

Puffins feed by diving for fish underwater, using its strong wings to swim. They breed in large clifftop colonies, and the puffin parents take turns incubating the egg.

Puffins eat only a few species of fish, including capelin. As a result, commercial capelin fisheries in Canada, Norway, Iceland and Russia pose a threat for Atlantic puffins. Capelin are mainly used for fish meal and oil industry products.

Check out a slideshow of stunning photos from this year's Ranger expedition so far!

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Oceana’s Spring Digital Mag

Hey ocean lovers, the spring issue of our digital magazine is now available! We’re pretty excited about it; here are some of the features this time around:

*A stunning photo slideshow of Chile’s Salas y Gomez Island, where we recently helped create the world’s fourth-largest no-take marine reserve.

*Comedians Rachael Harris and Angela Kinsey join Oceana to save sea turtles.

*Victory! Belize ends trawling once and for all.

*Video of Jeff Bridges’ performance at the 2010 SeaChange Summer Party.

*Trailer for Ted Danson’s new book, “Oceana”.

Check out the full issue to see the videos, photos and stories, and spread the word!

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Chilean Tsunami Clean-Up Continues

© Oceana | Marcelo Rossi.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Chile in February were devastating to the Juan Fernández Islands, where we have been working with local communities to protect their marine resources. Robinson Crusoe Island was particularly hard-hit.

Oceana has been working with local divers organized by two local groups: Fundación Archipielago Juan Fernandez and the Robinson Crusoe Island Artisanal Fishermen Union. In September, they began the task of cleaning the wreckage left by the tsunami. Since then the team of divers has recovered tons of wreckage, including the grave you see in this chilling photo.

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Photos from the Alabama Alps

Yesterday you heard about the Latitude’s foray into the Alabama Alps. Today, photos!

Here are some of the cool creatures our deep-sea ROV captured on camera. Which one's your favorite?

Special thanks to Nautica, whose support made our use of the deep sea ROV possible!

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Day 6: Back to Reality

Here’s your expedition update for today, from Oceana’s senior campaign communications manager Dustin Cranor:

News flash – the oil in the Gulf is not gone.

Although there have been lots of media reports that the oil in the Gulf is "gone," two new scientific studies were released today that give a different -- and less rosy -- picture.

First, independent scientists estimate that as much as 80 percent of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is still in the Gulf. Even if it's only 50 percent, that’s a lot of oil. Second, and even more disturbing, scientists discovered oil from the spill on the seafloor of Desoto Canyon, which means that oil could be in shallower waters where vulnerable habitats exist.

Oceana believes that the worst of the oil’s impacts are yet to be seen. As part of our effort to document valuable and vulnerable habitats, we took advantage of our location and dove not too far from the same beach that President Obama recently visited in Panama City.

On this nearly 90 foot dive, Oceana’s divers spotted tiny corals, arrow crabs, hermit crabs, flatfish, soapfish and butterflyfish, all species at risk from the effects of oil spills. What many do not realize is that there is simply no effective way to remove oil from coral.

Look at some of the incredible creatures our divers spotted:



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Pelicans, the Spill and DDT


© Dr. Kathryn Flynn, Auburn University

Auburn University is doing some great work on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and their kind folks sent us this photo of a heron walking along an oil boom with a skimming vessel in the background.

In other bird news, Dr. Geoff Hill, nationally-known professor of ornithology at Auburn, recently described the impact of the gulf spill on bird populations, in particular, the brown pelican. Hill drew some interesting comparisons between the impact of the oil and the impact of the pesticide, DDT in the 1970s.

You can read more about Dr. Hill's observations and check out a podcast of his interview by visiting Auburn University's Oil Spill Blog.

Stay tuned for more from Auburn!


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Spill Takes Increasing Toll on Wildlife

oil pelican

© AP/Gerald Herbert

As BP prepares its “top kill” maneuver to stanch the Deepwater Horizon’s leak, oil continues to hit Louisiana’s wetlands and beaches, fouling sensitive habitats and marine life.

Officials reported yesterday that more than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 sea turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast since the spill started more than a month ago.

As a result, the images coming out of the gulf are increasingly heartbreaking, like these photos of the spill and its victims from

Oceana pollution campaign director Jackie Savitz was on the Diane Rehm show this morning for a second time since the spill discussing the long-term environmental consequences of the oil spill. Jackie was joined by Douglas Rader from the Environmental Defense Fund, Carys Louise Mitchelmore of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and William Hogarth from the University of South Florida. Have a listen here.

If you haven’t already, help us reach our goal of 500,000 petition signatures: tell Obama and Congress to stop offshore drilling today, and spread the word.

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