Monthly Archives: August 2021

A Letter From Dr. Sylvia Earle

August 30th, 2021
This year, so far, has been a bright one. We have launched nine Hope Spots with many more on the horizon. These are deeply ecologically important places between the sharky shores of Mozambique to magnificent Fish Rock in Eastern Australia. I am so thrilled that each of them is Championed by passionate ocean stewards whom I am honored to call members of our community.
I recently returned from Portugal’s Azores Archipelago, where we celebrated the launch of the new Hope Spot and the Azores’ local government’s commitment to protecting 15% of its waters. What a relief after much perceived doom and gloom around us to celebrate the dedication to ocean protection in such a special marine ecosystem. Azores is a magical place – it’s right out in the middle of the ocean that acts like a magnet for life.…

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Young Marine Conservationist Champions the Fish Rock Hope Spot in New South Wales to Protect Critically Endangered Grey Nurse Sharks

Header image: Justin Gilligan

A five hour drive north of Sydney, New South Wales, is South West Rocks, a coastal town that just 5,000 people call home. Below the surface of its sandy beaches and picturesque pine trees is a 125-meter long underwater tunnel with its own unique ecosystem that supports a habitat for the critically endangered grey nurse shark. Local SCUBA diver and ocean conservationist Shalise Leesfield has a goal to establish a 1500m radius marine protected area at Fish Rock to protect these sharks and hundreds of other marine species that call the underwater tunnel home. Leesfield hopes that the recognition of the Fish Rock Hope Spot will bring to light the condition of Australia’s Grey Nurse shark population and the lack of support awarded to their recovery.…

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Behind the Scenes: The Azores Hope Spot Summit

Header image by Nuno Sá
By: Shannon Rake, Hope Spots Program Manager

My name is Shannon Rake and I am the Hope Spots Program Manager for Mission Blue. As many readers of this blog will already know, Hope Spots are special places in the ocean where Mission Blue works with local champions to promote the creation and enforcement of marine protected areas. The Azores is one such Hope Spot and that’s where this story starts, as we arrived there to meet the local champions and get an update on their conservation efforts. The trip would turn out to be unforgettable with the President of the Azores announcing an expansion of the Azorean marine protected area, as well as the opportunity to witness first-hand the cutting edge of local marine science efforts.…

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