The Beacon

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

Karmenu Vella Becomes New European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Karmenu Vella becomes new leader of the European Commissioner

Karmenu Vella being interviewed by European Parliament Committees. (Photo: European Parliament / Flickr Creative Commons)

Last week, the European Parliament voted to confirm Karmenu Vella as the new Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission, which will be headed by President Jean-Claude Juncker.


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Meet the Eerie Stargazer, Wolf-Fish, and Polka Dot Batfish: The Halloween Creature Feature Edition

The wolf-fish is one of the creepiest looking ocean animals

Wolf-fish. (Photo: Gaellery / Flickr Creative Commons)

If you’re an ocean lover, you’re probably familiar with some of the ocean’s creepiest monsters of the deep—like anglerfish, with their glowing lures to trick their prey, to the blob sculpin, a ghostly-looking creature that’s sure to give anyone a fright. Many of the scariest-looking ocean animals are found in the deep sea, equipped with these strange features to deal with the cold, dark characteristics of the abyss.


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Ocean Roundup: Shell Seeks to Extend Arctic Drilling Period, Great Barrier Reef Protection Plan “Inadequate,” and More

Shell wishes to extend their Arctic drilling lease

Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig grounded in 2012 in the Arctic. Shell wants to extend their lease to for exploratory drilling in the Arctic. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Australian scientists are criticizing the government’s Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan, citing that it’s “inadequate to achieve the goal of restoring or even maintaining the diminished outstanding universal value of the reef.” The Australian Academy of Science says the proposal doesn’t address greenhouse gas emissions, even though government assessments found climate change to be the biggest threat to the reef. The Guardian


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Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Diver Scallops

October is National Seafood Month

A scallop dish. (Photo: ulterior epicure / Flickr Creative Commons)

October is National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet.


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Ocean Roundup: Penguin Chick Survivorship Influenced by Weather, Norway Cuts Seal Hunting Subsidies, and More

Weather patterns influence penguin chick survivorship

Adélie penguin chick (L) and parent (R) in Antarctica. (Photo: Liam Quinn / Flickr Creative Commons)

- New research shows that weather and climate patterns play a big role in influencing the weight of Adélie penguin chicks, native to the West Antarctic Peninsula. Penguin chicks that were exposed to elements like high wind and cooler air temperatures weighed less at the time of fledging, which increases chances of survivorship. EurekAlert


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Photos: These Sea Creatures Celebrate Halloween All Year with Their Spooky Names

An Atlantic ghost crab (Ocypode quadrata). (Photo: dogtooth77 / Flickr Creative Commons)

As you probably know, the vast, deep ocean is home to rich amounts of biodiversity—much of which appears rather spooky and frightful, like anglerfish with their many sharp teeth, to the stargazer fish with eyes on top of their head. With some species, though, the fright isn’t in their looks but simply in their name—like the vampire squid or ghost shrimp. 


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Federal Government Takes Steps to Better Monitor Bycatch in Southeast and Gulf Fisheries

NMFS is taking steps to improve bycatch reporting

A sea turtle accidentally hooked on a longline. NMFS announced it will work to better its bycatch counting practices in the Gulf and Southeast fisheries. (Photo: Oceana / Mar Mas)

Following Oceana’s recommendation to develop a bycatch—the incidental take of marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine life in fisheries—reporting plan last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced last week that it will be taking steps to more accurately analyze the amount and type of wasted catch in Gulf of Mexico and Southeast region fisheries.


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Ocean Roundup: Scientists Call for “Bold” Action on Overfishing, Shipping Company Pleads Guilty to 2013 Molasses Spill, and More

Scientists call for bold action on overfishing

Early-morning trawlers leave port in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

- In a new article, scientists called for “bold” action on overfishing and habitat destruction around the world for both industrial and small-scale fisheries. They call for more marine protected areas, and coordinated management and government activities. Phys. org


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Sam Talbot's Fish Tacos with Tomato Salsa and Citrus Crema

Fish tacos with tomato salsa. (Photo: Kyle Mahan / Flickr Creative Commons)

October marks National Seafood Month, a time to raise awareness for sustainable fisheries and celebrate the benefits of seafood in one’s diet.


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Photos: Three Days Swimming around the Hawaiian Na Pali Coast

Aaron Peirsol raised $,1500 for Oceana

(Photo: Naoko Watanabe) 

As an Olympian swimmer, it’s been a decade-old goal of mine to take on the choppy waters of the Na Pali coast, located off Hawaii’s oldest island of Kaua'i. The rugged coastline leads into rough waters that are even challenging for a professional swimmer like myself, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to take on.


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