The Beacon

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

Offshore Drilling Risks Highlighted in Myrtle Beach Billboards

Oceana billboards in South Carolina are raising awareness about seismic

One of Oceana's billboards near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (Photo: Randy Sturgill / Oceana)

If you’re driving through the Myrtle Beach area over the next month, be sure to keep an eye out for several Oceana billboards in the area.


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Ocean Roundup: Western Australia Recommended to Halt Shark Cull, Orca Pod Saves Member from Fishing Gear, and More

Orca pod helped rescue a struggling member in fishing gear

A pod of orcas. Recently, members of an orca pod off New Zealand helped rescue a fellow whale from fishing gear. (Photo: Marie and Alistair Knock / Flickr Creative Commons)

- In a remarkable rescue, members of an orca pod helped save one of their own from fishing gear off New Zealand. Rescuers say the pod pushed the orca, who was carrying a 77-pound cray pot line, to the ocean’s surface to breath, and rescuers were then able to take over to free her from the gear. The Dodo


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Oceana Magazine: DiCaprio Funds Conservation Across the Entire Eastern Pacific

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation benefits Oceana

The Desventuradas Islands, Chile. (Photo: Oceana)

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation provided a three-year, $3 million grant that is allowing Oceana to expand conservation work across the Pacific Ocean and approach conservation from a hemisphere-wide scale. This article uncovers some of the beatiful, biodiverse locations that Oceana is focusing on because of this grant. This feature originally appeared in the summer issue of Oceana magazine


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Ocean Roundup: Healthy Corals Mean More Sharks, Extinct Dolphin Found in Peruvian Desert, and More

Sharks depend on healthy coral reefs

Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) over a reef. A new study found that reef health is important to shark abundance. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

- A new study shows that late-summer water temperatures near the Florida Keys are significantly warmer than they were a century ago. This temperature increase is causing slower coral growth, as well as increasing coral reef bleaching events. USGS News


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Oceana Provides Comments to President Obama’s Task Force to Tackle Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud

Oceana provided comments on President Obama's seafood task force

A fish market in Maryland. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

Late last month, the public comment period closed on the President’s Task Force on Combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud. During the comment period, the Task Force held four public meetings: two webinars and two in-person meetings, one in Seattle, Washington, and one in Washington, D.C. Oceana provided comments at both in-person meetings and submitted written comments as well.


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CITES Listing Countdown: Less Than One Week until Hammerheads are Protected

Hammerhead sharks will be protected under CITES

A great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). (Photo: Wendell Reed / Flickr Creative Commons) 

On September 14, 2014, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will add seven 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. To celebrate, we’re spotlighting all seven species that are receiving protections on September 14 in a series of countdown blog posts on The Beacon.


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Ocean Roundup: Acidification Masking Shark Smelling Abilities, New Fishery Rule to Protect Endangered Albatross, and More

Smooth dogfish could lose their sense of smell from acidification

A smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). (Photo: Erickson Smith / Flickr Creative Commons)

- NOAA has proposed a new rule to for West Coast commercial fishermen that intends to the endangered short-tailed albatross, a seabird whose numbers are down to 1,200 individuals. The rule requires fishermen to deploy streamer lines, already required off Alaska and Hawaii, which would scare off albatross from eating bait. The Associated Press


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How Does Your Sunscreen Impact Marine Life?

Chemicals in sunscreen can cause coral reef bleaching

Sunscreen can cause coral reef bleaching. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Flickr Creative Commons)

Here in the U.S., many tourists and beachgoers just wrapped up trips to the beach for the season. That also means that millions of people lathered themselves in sunscreen to protect themselves from harmful sun rays — a precautionary measure that you’re taught to do at a young age. But while this lotion protects humans, a growing body of research shows that it has an impact on oceans.


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Infographic: BP to Blame for 2010 Deepwater Oil Disaster, Rules Judge

BP found to be at fault for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A controlled burn near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. (Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response / Flickr Creative Commons)

Last week, a United States federal judge ruled that BP’s reckless and negligent behavior is at fault for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which killed 11 people and caused 200 million gallons of oil to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s ruling opens up BP to billions of dollars in possible civil penalty fines, including a possible $18 billion under the Clean Water Act.


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Ocean Roundup: Endangered Orca Pod Welcomes Calf, Atmospheric CO2 Levels Reach Record High, and More

New calf joins southern resident whale population

A southern resident orca mother and her calf. For the first time since 2012, a new calf has joined the population. (Photo: NOAA's National Ocean Service / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A new study found that tiny crabs of the species Planes major, which were thought to hitch rides on the back of sea turtle shells and remain there for life with a mate, may not be as monogamous as once thought. New research shows that males may actually hop off turtles in search of a mate in what researchers are calling “risky behavior.” Smithsonian Science


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