Yearly Archives: 2013

Mission Blue 2013 Year in Review

As we look forward to 2014 it’s clear that there is much work to be done to protect our planet’s Blue Heart. Yet, we should also look back and realize the good work done in 2013 towards our critical mission of creating Hope Spots in the ocean — the seeds of tomorrow’s flourishing marine environment. Right now, we are in a sweet spot in time. The time to act is now. If you have a few moments as the New Year rolls in, I invite you to read my article in The Virginia Quarterly Review to get a sense of what I mean by “sweet spot” in time. It is my great hope that you continue to feed Mission Blue with passion and inspiration into the New Year.…
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Diving Beneath the Antarctic Ice with Dale Andersen

Mission Blue ally and long-time friend, Dr. Dale Andersen, is currently camped out with his team on the shores of Lake Obersee, a perennially ice-covered lake not too far from Lake Untersee in the mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. They made the traverse out here via snowmobile and trucks last month and are soon heading home armed with fascinating scientific data and media from under the antarctic ice. Dale wrote Sylvia, “the skidoo ride was a bit challenging since we had white-out, near white-out and marginal conditions the whole way (125 km or so over 7 hours) but we made it out by midnight and had a tent up with some heat by 3am. Having been here a few more days we now have the camp established but our  winds are still pretty high (35-40 kts) so our work is a bit limited right now.  …
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Mission Blue Partner Kai Marine Reports on Loggerheads in the Med

We’re honored today to deliver you the results of Mission Blue Partner KAI Marine Service‘s Project OASIS, which studied loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. Enjoy! =-=-= Over 4 months of survey in the Mediterranean open sea, tracking and observing loggerhead sea turtles in their oceanic stage has enabled research to gain new insight of how this ecosystem functions. A total of 118 turtles have been part of the OASIS project in its first edition. Equipped with National Geographic Crittercam, satellite tags and acoustic tags, turtles have become “living oceanographic gliders” recording data that should hopefully allow scientists to reveal the mystery of the “Mediterranean Serengeti Paradox”. Each loggerhead turtle basking on the surface during its oceanic phase becomes an oasis that aggregates algae and invertebrates, ultimately aggregating a bait ball for top predators in the open ocean realm to feed on.…
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5 Reasons to Celebrate California’s MPAs

By Samantha Murray, The Ocean Conservancy They grow up so fast! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since California established the first statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs). I remember when these special places were just a glimmer in our collective eye—when scientists, fishermen, agencies and conservationists were still flirting with the idea of protecting coastal waters in a string of underwater parks from Mexico to the Oregon border. And now here we are, one year later, celebrating a first birthday on December 19 and 124 fun reasons to get outside, get in the water and raise a glass to California’s future. Looking forward and looking back, here are some of my favorite reasons to celebrate: 1. Booming business At a time when the economy is still top of mind for most Americans, California’s MPAs actually protect the jobs of people who rely on the tourism industry.…
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Whale Tagger Nan Hauser Makes a Big “My Hero” Splash

Nan Hauser, the intrepid whale tagger who works in the Cook Islands, recently had her work documented by Peter Stonier the Conservation International filmmaker for the My Hero International Film Festival. The video — available for viewing here — was selected as for first place in the “Series” category, underscoring public interest and support of whale protection efforts. Nan Hauser, President and Director of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, is based in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, where she is the Principal Investigator for the Cook Islands Whale Research Project and Director of the Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre. Nan’s research includes population identity, Photo ID, acoustics, genetics, surface & underwater behaviour, navigation and migration of cetaceans. Her satellite tag work includes results on how whales migrate over long distances using linear constant course segments.…
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From the Desk of Sylvia Earle

Dear Friend of the Ocean, Recently, while diving in the warm waters of the Western Caribbean, I was reminded of the critical importance of our work.  When I made my first dives there some 50 years ago, the reefs were vibrant and decorated with schools of brightly colored fish.  As I kicked my way down to 60 feet below the surface, it didn’t take long to realize that so much has changed…and not for the better. Jacques Cousteau once mused on our complex relationship with Nature, “For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive. In this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.” Cousteau said these words last century.…
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California Fracking

Contaminated water. Greenhouse gas pollution. Dead wildlife. And grave threats to public health. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing — and the industrial development that comes with it — have left a grim trail of damage across America. This damaging oil and gas–drilling technique involves injecting millions of gallons of highly pressurized water, sand and toxic chemicals deep into the earth. Now fracking has become a major issue in the Golden State. But Californians still have time to safeguard their water, air, wildlife and health from this dangerous and poorly regulated form of oil and gas production. And the Center for Biological Diversity’s helping that happen. California officials must move quickly to address this dangerous practice. To protect our health and future, fracking should be banned in California. …
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Hong Kong Kids’ Aerial Art Encourages the Public to Respect Sharks

Each year, up to 73 million sharks are killed for their fins. Most end up in shark fin soup, a delicacy in both Hong Kong and Mainland China.  However, the last few years have seen a sea change in Hong Kong’s attitude toward shark finning—and an event early this month demonstrated how far the island territory has come. On November 8th, nearly a thousand children, their teachers and ocean community leaders gathered on Repulse Bay Beach on the south side of Hong Kong Island. They were there as the culmination of Kids Ocean Day, an educational program that links students to the ocean environment, and raises awareness of human impact on the ecosystem. Directed by aerial artist John Quigley, the kids lined up to form a shark with a severed fin, accompanied by the words “Save Me” in Chinese.…
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Dame Roz Savage Talks Ocean Rowing at Buckingham Palace

You’ll have noticed that I don’t often blog on personal subjects these days, preferring instead to focus on my three pet topics of Adventure, Inspiration, and Environment, but I think you’ll want to hear about this. Yesterday I went with my mother, sister, and partner Howard, to Buckingham Palace to collect my MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire.) The award itself was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June, but it was only about six weeks ago that I’d received the notification of the date of my investiture – giving me plenty of time to panic about what to wear.  The notification arrived with lots of detailed information, and an enormous certificate in copperplate handwriting, signed by Her Majesty, but no hint as to who might be conducting the investiture ceremony.  …
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Ghost Gear – A Scary Matter

Having removed tons of abandoned fishing gear throughout southern California over the last 11 years, Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) recently launched Operation Deep Sweep, which represents an exciting new phase for us. In late August of this year, we moved our two boats from our homeport in Los Angeles County up to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, CA.  As a part of this operation, we are now removing ghost gear from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries (CINMS!) Plans in place to protect and preserve The Channel Islands are a chain of eight islands located off the coast of Ventura, California that received National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) status in 1980.  ODA applied for, and was granted, a permit that allows us to go into this protected area and remove any hazardous man-made debris we find.…
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