Blog Archives

New Champions of the Quirimbas Archipelago Hope Spot Celebrate with Plans to Expand Local Marine Protected Area

QUIRIMBAS ISLANDS, MOZAMBIQUE, JULY 22nd, 2021

The 34 islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago span nearly 300 kilometers of coastline from the Tanzania-Mozambique border in the north to Pemba Bay in the south. Among the archipelagos’ greatest treasures are the deep submarine canyons that run between many of its islands where cool water upwellings support the highest coral species diversity documented outside of the Coral Triangle. The islands’ unique blend of environmental and social drivers establishes it as one of the most diverse, productive, and intact marine ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean, which has led to its recent recognition as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a Key Biodiversity Area.
 
 
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue, considers the Quirimbas Islands as a “shining beacon of hope on the African Coastline” and designated the archipelago as one of the first Mission Blue Hope Spots in 2013.…

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Project Sea Star

By Madison Churchill, PNW Protectors

Dense kelp forests once created a thick border up the coast from Baja California to Alaska. These underwater forests rival Amazonian rainforests for productivity and biodiversity. Heaping matts of kelp can be seen pooled up on the surface; a glimpse into a complex structure underneath. Stretching hundreds of feet tall in some places, these towering stalks are great connectors between the waves and the seafloor. Most people only see kelp on the surface, where it drifts along in thick rust-brown tangles. It’s quite a sight to behold even from above, but this is as far as many people go. At PNW Protectors, we wanted to dive deeper and explore the ecosystem from a different angle. Freediving through these ancient forests has given us a unique perspective and has allowed us to document changes that most people never witness. …

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Tiger Shark Makes Historic Journey From the Galápagos Marine Reserve to Cocos Island National Park

Discovery highlights need to create a marine “superhighway” connecting the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
JUNE 21, 2021 –
Scientists uncovered a new example of migratory movements between Galapagos Marine Reserve and Cocos Island National Park on a research trip this year, supporting global efforts to improve the conservation of migratory marine species. The research trip was supported by philanthropist and ocean advocate, Dona Bertarelli, and her family. The discovery is featured in a film by Sails of Change & Only One Collective which urges viewers to sign a petition calling on the governments of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama to establish the world’s first multinational network of marine protected areas.
A female tiger shark – tagged on an expedition led by non-profit organization OCEARCHwith MigraMar, Galapagos National Park Directorate and Charles Darwin Foundationscientists in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands seven years ago – surfaced at Costa Rica’sCocos Island in February, almost 700 kilometers to the northwest.…

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Internationally Renowned Oceanographer and TIME Magazine’s First Hero Of The Planet – Dr. Sylvia A. Earle Publishes New Book Showcasing The Power and Significance Of Our Planet’s Ocean

National Geographic’s Explorer At Large and internationally renowned oceanographer, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, is releasing her highly anticipated forthcoming book, National Geographic Ocean: A Global Odyssey (National Geographic; Now Available For Pre-Order; On-Sale Nov 16, 2021, $65, ISBN 9781426221927), showcasing how the ocean – with its forces, habitats, creatures, and global influence–has a tremendous impact on our everyday lives.
Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, President & Chairman of Mission Blue/The Sylvia Earle Alliance–affectionately called “Her Deepness”, a phrase coined by The New Yorker–guides readers with her lyrical style and inspiring wisdom, describing the evolution, beauty, and impact of our ocean, the challenges it faces, such as climate change, plastic, and overfishing, and the myriad ways we can help protect it. With a special focus on new discoveries in the deepest reaches of the ocean, Dr.…

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Gathered Foods, Makers of Good Catch® Plant-Based Seafood, Joins Dr. Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Nonprofit in New Initiative to Help Preserve Key Ocean Ecosystems

Plant-based seafood leader to support Mission Blue with ongoing sponsorship and consumer call to action to help shift the decline of marine wildlife.
 
Austin, TX (June 8, 2021) – In honor of World Ocean Day, Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch® plant-based seafood, today announced a new partnership with Mission Blue, an organization led by oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, that inspires action to explore and protect our ocean. With a common goal of protecting the world’s waters, Good Catch will become a corporate sponsor of Mission Blue to bring awareness and support for ocean conservation to the forefront. Together, Good Catch and Mission Blue will be initiating consumer campaigns to call for greater protection of Mission Blue Hope Spots, which are designated conservation areas protected by Mission Blue programs and government partnerships.…

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Panama Achieves 30×30 Ocean Protection Goals in Newly Expanded Cordillera de Coiba Marine Protected Area

Header image by Max Bello.
Spanish translation can be read at the bottom of the page.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA (June 8th, 2021) –
On June 8th, 2021, Laurentino Cortizo, President of Panama and Milciades Concepción, Minister of Environment signed the decree that protects the Coiba Ridge, a move that will triple the Cordillera de Coiba marine protected area. With this act, Panama is set to be ahead of the 30% by 2030 goals (30×30) and become a true Blue Leader – a country that officially “highly and fully” protects 30% or more of its oceans. Panama will finalize the management plan to address the regulation of the new expanded MPA by the fall. 
 

 
Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue, says, “Congratulations to President Laurentino Cortizo and the country of Panama for protecting this special part of the blue planet.…

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Cocos Island Hope Spot Champion Randall Arauz Pushes for Improved Marine Protections

Header photo by Cristian Dimitrius
Traducción al español al final.
COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICA (May 27th, 2021)
Costa Rica has long been recognized around the world for its conservation efforts to protect its wildlife both on land and under the sea. Scientists estimate that approximately 5% of the world’s biodiversity is nestled in the country’s dense rainforests and beneath the surface of its 581,725 km2 exclusive economic zone (EEZ). However, a closer look reveals that out of Costa Rica’s 20 marine protected areas (MPAs), very few provide tangible protection for marine species. In fact, the vast majority are Multiple Use Marine Areas (MUMA), which are under-patrolled and allow for destructive fishing practices that damage the environment and have led to the further depletion of marine species that are vital to the continuance of sustainable food sources.…

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President Piñera Announces Chile Will Advance a Proposal to Fully Protect an Area of the High Seas in the Southeastern Pacific, the First of its Kind

Featured image by Amos Nachoum.

SANTIAGO, APRIL 22nd, 2021

During the 2021 Virtual Leaders Climate Summit hosted on Earth Day, President Sebastian Piñera announced Chile will launch efforts to create a fully protected high seas marine protected area (MPA) in the Eastern Pacific as a priority measure to address the climate crisis.  The high seas MPA will be the first of its kind, protecting the Nazca Ridge, an area incredibly rich in biodiversity and abundant in endemic species.  The Nazca Ridge includes a series of connected submarine mountains offering refuge to both resident and migratory marine species, including threatened blue whales and leatherback sea turtles that return to these waters annually to breed and feed.  The area proposed for protections has been designated as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA) in need of protection under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).…

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The Invaluable Goliath Grouper – Our Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot Needs Your Help!

By: Angela Smith, Shark Team One

Goliath groupers are considered a keystone species since they are essential to a healthy reef and their presence and behaviors increase diversity within an ecosystem. The goliath grouper is also a vulnerable species and to give you an idea of how rare goliaths are, during a five-year Reef Visual Census (RVC) study from 2012 to 2016, assessments of reef fish abundance conducted by multiple regional academic institutions and government agencies found only 38 goliath groupers in the southeast Florida region (St. Lucie Inlet to Government Cut). Data from that project’s counterpart in the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas indicated that abundances were similar. Yet state policymakers are currently considering a tag lottery to kill 100 goliath groupers per year for a four-year period!…

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Great Barrier Reef Hope Spot Announced with Call for Ocean-Loving Volunteers to Dive into Great Reef Census

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA (April 21, 2021)

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has been officially declared as Hope Spot by Mission Blue. Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef have been named Champions of the newly launched Hope Spot in recognition of their work with a range of partners across tourism, research, and conservation on projects to protect and conserve the GBR.
 
 
To celebrate the launch of the new Hope Spot, which coincides with Earth Day, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and Mission Blue are calling on ocean lovers across the globe to dive in and take part in a live conservation action to help protect the GBR. 
By joining their Earth Day online event, citizen scientists can visit greatreefcensus.org and help analyze some of the thousands of survey images captured from across the GBR during the inaugural Great Reef Census — and in doing so, contribute directly to the future of the newly launched GBR Hope Spot.…

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