The Beacon: Andy Sharpless's blog

CEO Note: Sperm Whales Left Unprotected from Drift Gillnets

drift gillnets threaten sperm whales off California

“Mother and baby sperm whale." (Photo: Gabriel Barathieu, Wikimedia Commons) 

Off the coast of California, deadly drift gillnets threaten some of our most iconic and amazing marine species, like the endangered sperm whale. These nets can entangle and drown open-ocean animals that swim into them. Last year, Oceana successfully pressured the government to put in place emergency rules to protect sperm whales from these deadly nets. Unfortunately, the government recently let these protections expire, violating two federal laws.


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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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CEO Note: Progress for Sharks

Sharks conservation has made progress, but still needs your help

A dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). (Photo: Richard Ling / Flickr Creative Commons)

If you’re like most ocean lovers, you’ve probably spent a few nights this week tuning in to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. But as we celebrate our collective love of sharks, we should also take a moment to reflect on the many threats that sharks face.


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CEO Note: Another Chlorine Plant Goes Mercury-Free

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in the Mediterranean

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

We all know that seafood is good for you, and that fish is high in heart-healthy omega-3s. And I’m sure you’ve also heard warnings about mercury levels in certain species of fish, especially if you or anyone you know is starting a family. But you might not know that the chlorine industry was a major source of mercury released to our environment.


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CEO Note: “Wasted Cash” Report Reveals Staggering Cost of Bycatch

Bycatch

(Photo: Oceana / María José Cornax)

Discarding fish is akin to throwing money into the ocean, yet the U.S. fishing industry wastes millions of pounds of seafood each year. Bycatch is not only wasteful, but kills countless numbers of marine creatures like dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks in the process.


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CEO Note: A Look at the Impressive Outcomes from Our Ocean Conference

President Obama announced will expand the protection of the Pacific Ocean

The Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. (Photo: Island Conservation / Flickr Creative Commons)

I wrote to you a few short weeks ago about our tremendous victory in Oceana’s campaign to stop seafood fraud — at the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean conference, President Obama committed to tackling seafood fraud and pirate fishing. As realistic as I often am about these conferences, I was pleasantly surprised by the outcomes of Our Ocean.


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CEO Note: California Fails to List Imperiled White Sharks

Great White Shark (carcharodon carcharias)

Great White Shark (carcharodon carcharias). (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons / Scubaben)

White sharks off the coast of California are in danger. This population of white sharks, occurring off California and Mexico, is genetically unique and isolated from other groups of white sharks across the world’s oceans.


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CEO Note: Spanish Mediterranean Threatened By Seismic Airguns

(Photo: Oceana / Juan Cuetos)

I wrote to you recently about the U.S. government’s plans to allow seismic airguns in the U.S. Atlantic. This technology, used to search for oil and gas deposits, could injure an estimated 138,200 dolphins and whales and usher in offshore oil drilling. A similar battle is occurring across the Atlantic, where the Spanish government is planning to open 45 percent of the Spanish Mediterranean to seismic surveys, putting local ecosystems and economies at serious risk.


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Huffington Post Editorial: President Obama Announces Plan to Combat Seafood Fraud

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant in Washington, D.C.

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

On Tuesday, the oceans won a major victory when President Obama announced his commitment to fight seafood fraud and black market fish, as well as expand marine protected areas.


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CEO Note: President Obama Announces Plan to Combat Seafood Fraud at Global “Our Ocean” Conference

President Obama Announces Plan to Combat Seafood Fraud

The BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

I have truly historic news to share with you. Today, in a video message shared at Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Our Ocean” conference, President Obama announced his plan to develop a comprehensive program aimed at combating seafood fraud and keeping illegal fish out of the U.S. market.


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