Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Lowdown on IMPAC 3

Fifteen hundred representatives from 87 nations came together last week to discuss our absolutely favorite subject:  Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), or as we call them, Hope Spots. It went down in France with a delicately balanced soup of the relevant stakeholders: Marine Protected Area managers, scientists, politicians, local representatives, concerned civilians, business executives and more. Getting together and talking is all well and good — but what happened? What were the visions put forward to save our ocean? On the Mission Blue front, we were ecstatic to announce a new Hope Spot Map with 50 marine areas targeted for increased conservation. Ideally even larger swaths of the ocean would be completely protected starting tomorrow, yet these 50 Hope Spots offer a road map — a game plan — to concentrate conservation efforts in places that are critical to ocean health…critical to the future health of our entire planet, whose chemistry and biology is driven by our Blue Heart.…
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CCAMLR Meets Again to Determine Fate of Ross Sea Hope Spot

Representatives of two-dozen countries and the European Union—the member governments of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, or CCAMLR—are meeting to determine whether some of the waters of the Antarctic, including the Ross Sea, one of Mission Blue’s original Hope Spots, will be protected or left open to industrial fishing and other human activities. Fishing and oil drilling could be banned across more than two million square kilometres of the frigid seas around Antarctica in a historic attempt to conserve the last pristine ocean. Negotiations will centre on a proposal for a 1.25m square kilometre “no take” zone, which would cover much of the Ross Sea. Another proposal would establish several other smaller protected areas in the seas around East Antarctica, adding a further 1.9m sq km protection zone.…
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Bold Plan for 50 Ocean Hope Spots Announced at IMPAC 3

Exciting news has come out of the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3): Her Deepness Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue and IUCN have launched 31 new Mission Blue Hope Spots — Marine Protected Areas — across the globe to massively scale up the level of marine protection that experts consider necessary for a sustainable future. A Hope Spot is an area of ocean that merits special protection because of its wildlife and significant underwater habitats. Each Hope Spot can give the ocean a breathing space from human activities so that it may recover and flourish. Dr. Earle named these areas Hope Spots because they represent a real hope to restore the health of our imperiled ocean. The 31 new announcements come in addition to the 19 Hope Spots that Mission Blue has worked to protect over the last four years.…
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Hope for the Oceans with Dr. Sylvia Earle

Feature Photo: Kip Evans / Mission Blue   …
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New Hope Spots to be Announced at IMPAC 3!

Next week, the Third International Marine Protected Area Congress (IMPAC 3) will convene in Marseille and Corsica. The Congress brings together major maritime stakeholders from around the globe to work together for the conservation and sustainable development of the oceans, and is the largest gathering of its kind ever held. On Tuesday, October 22, Dr. Earle will host a celebration, “Hope for the Oceans with Dr. Sylvia Earle.” Mission Blue’s new global Hope Spot map will be unveiled, and Her Deepness has exciting Hope Spot news to share. Also appearing will be Dan Laffoley of IUCN and Mission Blue Board Director, Dr. Lance Morgan of Marine Conservation Institute, Jenifer Austin Foulkes, Manager, Explore the Ocean layer in Google Earth and Mission Blue Board Director,  Charlotte Vick of Mission Blue and Google Earth’s Explore the Ocean Layer and Kristina Gjerde of The Sargasso Sea Alliance and the High Seas Alliance.…
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First Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day in California – Oct. 15

Peak Season for Sightings of California’s Official Marine Reptile Along the Coast The leatherbacks are here! The state of California’s first official Pacific Leatherback Conservation Day on October 15 comes at the peak of the season for leatherbacks feeding on jellyfish along the state’s coastline. As many as 300 endangered leatherbacks swim the coastline every year in search of jellyfish. While many threats to the survival of the critically endangered sea turtle remain, California’s coast is today a safe haven for this ancient marine species. So far this year 16 sightings of the elusive leatherback sea turtles along the Central California coast were reported by whale watchers, fishers and researchers to the Leatherback Watch Program, a citizen science program organized by Turtle Island Restoration Network (SeaTurtles.org) in Olema, CA.…
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Humpbacks off Monterey, California

From Mission Blue Director of Expeditions and Photography, Kip Evans, “It’s so rare to have these beautiful flat days off the coast of Monterey. Adding huge Humpback whales….priceless!”…
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Ocean All-Stars Make a Splash in Monaco with BLUE Ocean Film Festival

MONACO, October 4, 2013 If necessity is the mother of invention, then the pressing needs of our ocean explain the spawning of innovation at BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit (BLUE). This annual multi-disciplinary summit is a convergence of bright minds with big hearts focused on expediting ocean conservation – now when it’s needed most. BLUE – a watering hole for ocean aficionados BLUE sets in motion a mix of ocean all-stars mobilized by a supportive environment of breathtaking (and sometimes gut-wrenching) films, creative ideas and new technology. Inventors, leaders, filmmakers, explorers, producers, artists, scientists and celebrities gather to see what’s new and share thoughts on how to amplify the voice of the ocean. BLUE has created an ecosystem of diverse intelligence with one mission – to use the power of entertainment to educate and inspire ocean stewardship.…
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Manta Trust becomes Mission Blue Partner

While the oceans of our planet cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, we still know so little about what goes on beneath the waves.  There are vast areas, great depths and even hundreds or perhaps thousands of species that we still barely understand.  Manta rays can certainly be classed as a species we still have so much to learn about and that is why in January 2012, The Manta Trust came into being; a UK registered charity aiming to improve our understanding of these animals and promote their long-term conservation. What is the Manta Trust? The Manta Trust is a growing group of scientists, educators, photographers, film-makers, conservationists and advocacy experts who have joined forces to co-ordinate global research and conservation efforts for both manta rays and their close cousin’s, the mobula rays.…
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Fabien Cousteau tests the limits of human subaquatic exposure

Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the famed SCUBA inventor Jacques-Yves Cousteau, plans to continue the family tradition of pushing the limits under the waves. In a little over a month, Fabien will descend into the last remaining underwater marine lab in the world — Aquarius in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary — to spend 31 days in the habitat as part of his Mission 31. The duration of the mission is twice the length of any previous Aquarius mission and one day longer than his grandfather’s stay in Conshelf II undersea research station. He will quite literally be pushing the known boundaries of human subaquatic exposure. “It’s about the adventure of discovery — about pushing the boundaries that are familiar to us,” Fabien told Mission Blue.…
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