The Beacon

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

Deep Sea Sharks in Northeast Atlantic Still at Risk from Overexploitation, Warns Group

Deep sea sharks are over-exploited in Northeast Atlantic waters

Angular rough shark (Oxynotus centrina), a deep-sea shark species pictured off Spain. (Photo: Oceana)

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), a network of over 4,000 scientists, warn that sharks in deep waters in the Northeast Atlantic continue to face a bleak future. ICES provided recommendations for three deep-sea shark species—kite fin sharks, leafscale gulper sharks, and Portguese dogfish sharks—and advise that these sharks should not be involved in fishery activities.


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Ocean Roundup: Oceans Seeing Largest Sea Level Rise in 6,000 Years, Red King Crab Fishery Opens in Alaska, and More

The Bristol Bay red king crab fishery opens this week

A red king crab. The fishery opens this week in Alaska. (Photo: Haddock L, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons)

- New research suggests that icebergs from the North American ice sheet once drifted past Florida when it began to melt 20,000 years ago. This research is supported by “massive scars” found along the continental shelf off Florida. Discovery News


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Green Sea Turtle Tumors Linked to Nitrogen Runoff in Hawaii, Study Says

Nitrogen runoff is linked with green sea turtle tumors

A green sea turtle with tumors (Chelonia mydas). (Photo: Peter Bennett & Ursula Keuper-Bennett / Wikimedia Commons)

Green sea turtles are an endangered species, at risk from poaching, incidental take in fishing gear, and coastal development. But they also suffer from fibropapillomatosis—the leading cause of death in this endangered species—which causes tumors to grow along sea turtles’ faces, flippers, and internal organs.


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Vibrant Giant Clams May Influence Solar Technology

Giant clam lips could influence solar technology

A giant clam (Tridacna gigas) in the Maldives. The vibrant lips of giant clams could influence solar technology. (Photo: Malcolm Browne / Flickr Creative Commons)

The vivacious blue lips of giant clams dot shallow bays and reef communities throughout the Indo-Pacific region, adding vibrant patterns to the seafloor. Like many other creatures with elaborate hues—say, the poison dart frog, whose bright colors helps ward off predators—the bright blue lips of the giant clam aren’t just there to impress onlookers.


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Ocean Roundup: Seven Sharks Illegally Caught in Costa Rica National Park, Dolphins Cross-Breeding in UK Waters, and More

Dolphins are cross-breeding off the UK

A bottlenose dolphin and calf. New research shows bottlenose dolphins off the UK are cross-breeding with other species. (Photo: Oceana / Soledad Esnaola)

- Scientists warn that otters off of Scotland are only living for about a third of the time than those off mainland Europe, largely due to more polluted waters and prey sources. The scientists warn that the short lifespans are troublesome because it keeps the otter population from being able to breed. The Scotsman


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Celebrate National Seafood Month with This Sustainable Recipe: Roasted Black Cod

National Seafood Month celebrates sustainable seafood

Roasted black cod. (Photo: Larry / 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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Photos: How Cuttlefish Master the Art of Disguise

Cuttlefish are a member of the cephalopod family

A common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) off Italy. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

This week marks International Cephalopod Awareness Days, a time to celebrate these invertebrates and bring attention to their conservation. Earlier this week, Oceana discussed octopus vision, and also recently celebrated them during Cephalopod Week. Now, Oceana is bringing attention to a lesser-known cephalopod through a Creature Feature.  


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Ocean Roundup: Dolphin Intelligence May Be Overestimated, Penguin Personalities To Help with Climate Change Adaption, and More

New research shows that dolphins may not be as smart as thought

Dolphins may not be as intelligent as assumed. (Photo: Oceana / Tim Calver)

- It turns out that pollution and runoff may be having a much bigger impact on the Great Barrier Reef than previously thought. New research shows that pollution may be decreasing organisms’ ability to photosynthesize, thereby making it harder to absorb CO2. The Guardian


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Video: Oceana in Belize Exposes Belizean First Family to Belizean World Heritage Sites

Belize's first family visits the Great Blue Hole

Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow's wife and daughter visit the Great Blue Hole. (Photo Oceana / Alex Ellis)

The Great Blue Hole, a Belizean National Monument and World Heritage Site, is one of the most gorgeous marine settings in the world. Situated just over 50 miles east of Belize City in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the rare reef formation stretches over 1,000 feet wide and over 400 feet deep. Previously an above-ground cave that’s sunk underwater, this sinkhole is teeming with marine life and is a haven for divers and ocean enthusiasts. Belize is home to three of the Caribbean’s four natural coral reef atolls.


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Photos: Celebrate World Sight Day with a Look at Ocean Animals’ Unique Vision

On World Sight Day check out ocean animal eyesight

A common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Octopuses have excellent vision. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

On October 9, Oceana and our friends at TOMS are celebrating World Sight Day, a time to raise awareness on blindness and vision impairment around the world. On our end, we think World Sight Day provides an excellent opportunity to also celebrate the truly unique vision in marine animals. The diversity of ocean animal eyesight and capabilities—which must tolerate different salinity levels, pressure gradients, and more—is truly astounding, and deserves a closer look.


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