The Beacon

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

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 six 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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Creature Feature: Barnacles

Barnacles live in the intertidal zone

Goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) on a rope, pictured during a 2008 Catamaran Oceana Ranger Atlantic Cantabric Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Enrique Talledo)

Barnacles are one of the most eerie looking marine creatures that exist. You may have noticed them the last time you visited the beach, attached to docks and boats or perhaps attached to old oyster shells on the beach. In this creature feature, we’re uncovering the secrets behind barnacles that give them their unique look.  


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Chile Cancels September Crustacean Trawl to Protect Common Hake

Chile banned their crustacean trawl to help common hake

Hakes (Merluccius sp.)  in a crate. (Photo: Oceana / LX)

Chile has taken a major step to protect common hake, a species in decline from overfishing. Earlier this month, the Under-Secretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) decided to close the crustacean trawl fleet for the month of September around Valparaiso, Bernardo O'Higgins, and Maule, Chile. The move protects common hake, a fish commonly caught as bycatch in the crustacean fishery, which has declined by 70 percent from 2001 to 2013.


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Ocean Roundup: Maine’s Scallop Fishery Could See Closures, Sydney Harbor Littered with Microplastics, and More

Maine may close parts of the scallop fishery this year

Patagonia Scallop (Zygochlamys patagonica). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen) 

- Maine’s scallop fishery could see multiple closures in the upcoming December season as regulators work to rebuild the fishery. Fishermen caught millions of pounds of scallops from the 1970s to 1990s, but the fishery then dropped dramatically. The Associated Press


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Oceana Magazine: Tuna in Trouble

Bluefin tuna are threatened by oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean.

A bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

The Atlantic bluefin tuna made an incredible recovery after decades of overfishing. Now, seismic airgun testing in the Mediterranean Sea threatens to unravel progress that was made for this super predator. This article was originally published in the summer 2014 issue of Oceana magazine, and the full excerpt can be viewed here.


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Seaweed Spotlight: A Rare Glimpse into Beautiful Ocean Kelp Forests (Photos)

Kelp is a type of seaweed

Kelp (Laminaria ochroleuca) in the Gorringe Bank in the Atlantic, pictured during an Oceana Ranger Transoceanic Expedition. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Carlos Calvin)

Forest ecosystems are critical for the survival of terrestrial life, but did you know that such ecosystems exist in the oceans too?

Kelp, a type of seaweed, can form dense forests underwater. Known as kelp forests, they rank with coral reefs and estuaries for being one of the most important ocean ecosystems, home to thousands of species and vast biodiversity. Despite their ecological importance, kelp forests are often overlooked.


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Ocean Roundup: Methane Seeping from U.S. Atlantic Seafloor, Iceland’s Caught Scores of Endangered Fin Whales, and More

The U.S. Atlantic coast is seeping methane in 570 locations

Methane rising from the seafloor off Virginia. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- According to a new report by the Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, California is “woefully unprepared” for sea level rise. The report projects that agriculture, tourism, and fishing industries will be most impacted by sea level rise. Think Progress


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CEO Note: SeaChange Summer Party a Huge Success for the Oceans

Leonardo DiCaprio attended Oceana's SeaChange Party

Leonardo DiCaprio at SeaChange. (Photo: Oceana / Tom Vickers)

Last weekend I had the honor of recognizing award-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedicated and generous support of ocean conservation. DiCaprio was Oceana’s guest of honor at our annual SeaChange Summer Party in Laguna Beach, California.


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Oceana Supports Recent European Commission Moves to End Overfishing

Ten EU Member States are receiving penalties for overfishing

Early morning trawling vessels in the Mediterranean. (Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

The European Commission (EC) recently announced that ten Member States will be penalized for exceeding fishing quotas in 2013. Oceana supports the deductions in order to reverse the damage done to overfished stocks, and denounces the Member States’ failure to emplace sound control measures.


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