Blog Archives

Monaco to Host an Ecosystem of Ocean All-Stars at BLUE 2015 Prior to COP 21

The BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit is coming up in Monaco November 7-9, and Mission Blue founder Dr. Sylvia Earle will be a keynote speaker!

Founded in 2009, BLUE has become internationally renowned for its unique ability to inspire public passion for ocean conservation and spark important discussions among world leaders in ocean science, conservation and exploration. It has since become a major international platform for professional development among industry leaders, students, artists, and marine enthusiasts. Advanced ocean technologies are showcased in concert with inspiring films, celebrity appearances, and an amazing and diverse collection of other related venues. Monaco became the second home of BLUE in 2013 when a strategic partnership was announced with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the oceanographic Museum of Monaco.…

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Regulators Empower Fishing Interests in the Bering Sea Hope Spot

We bring sad news today. At a recent meeting in Alaska, fishing regulators voted to kill the Bering Sea Initiative, which sought to bring protection from trawling to vast deep-water canyons that contained 50-85% of all the coral in the region. In partnership with Greenpeace, the Mission Blue community had petitioned the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC) for years to consider the clear scientific evidence provided to them and make commonsense protections for the Bering Sea canyons. Their own scientists even concurred, specifically pointing out Pribilof canyon as a coral hot spot in the Bering Sea. Still, the Council rejected science, supported the fishing industry and trawling remains open for business in waters that contain cascading ridges of centuries-old corals, sea sponges and a host of other marine life – a silent, slow-motion underwater tragedy.…

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GEEC-ing out at Girls Underwater Robot Camp

By Courtney Mattison

When it comes to women’s education these days, opportunities abound—especially to get young women interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As of 2013, only about 25% of American STEM degree holders were women, but universities, nonprofits and the White House alike are working hard to change that by introducing programs and incentives aimed at inspiring girls and women to pursue careers in STEM fields. One especially exciting new organization is called Global Engineering & Exploration Counselors (GEECs). Founded by National Geographic Young Explorer and submarine pilot Erika Bergman and marine science and technology communicator and educator Samantha Wishnak, GEECs is creating opportunities for teenage girls to explore the ocean (and their interests in STEM) using underwater robots, also known as remotely operated vehicles or ROVs.…

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Marine Protection in the Spotlight at Our Ocean Conference

By Courtney Mattison Hope was in the air during this week’s Our Ocean Conference in Valparaiso, Chile, where over 400 government leaders, researchers and ocean conservation advocates gathered for two days to make and support commitments to protect marine biodiversity. Seeking solutions to illegal fishing, marine plastic pollution, ocean acidification and climate change, Our Ocean 2015 focused on encouraging the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a tool to regulate harmful human activities that threaten ocean health.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet led the way in announcing the establishment of the Nazca-Desventuradas marine park—which will cover a surface area of more than 297,000 square kilometers (over 114,000 square miles) surrounding the San Ambrosio and San Felix islands—and a commitment to create a second marine protected area encompassing over 600,000 square kilometers around Easter Island.…

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Mission Blue Film Wins an Emmy!

We’re tremendously excited to announce that the Nextflix original documentary Mission Blue won the 2015 News & Documentary Emmy® Award for Outstanding Editing – Documentary and Long Form! While Mission Blue founder and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle has been spreading her message of hope for years, this message—our Mission Blue—has leapt to the next level of awareness in the global public consciousness.
The documentary, directed by Bob Nixon and Fisher Stevens and edited by Peter R. Livingston Jr., began inspiring people across 40+ countries in August 2014. Honored with this Emmy® Award, we anticipate that Dr. Earle’s simple message of ocean conservation—of respect for our planet and what sustains us—will reverberate through the homes and hearts of Netflix’s global audience now deeper than ever before.…

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Artists & Scientists Return from Arctic Expedition

A team of 60 of the world’s leading marine scientists, photographers, filmmakers and fine artists recently returned from an expedition to the icy waters of Norway, Greenland and Iceland to explore and document the impacts of climate change on the fragile high Arctic region. The two-and-a-half-week Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition was orchestrated by photographer Michael Aw—director of the Ocean Geographic Society—who co-led the trip alongside Mission Blue founder and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle and acclaimed photographers David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes and Ernie Brooks. The team traveled from North Spitsbergen to North and East Greenland and on to Iceland aboard the 71.61-meter MV Polar Pioneer—a Finnish ice-strengthened research vessel specially charted for the expedition.
The team experienced incredible panoramas of glaciers, icebergs and mountains, went snorkeling and diving in frigid high Arctic waters and documented numerous polar bears, walruses, Arctic hares and kittiwakes.…

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Join Hello Ocean on a Scientific Odyssey

News from our partners at Hello Ocean: Filmmakers Teresa and Ben Carey invite you to join a scientific odyssey to document ocean acidification and map ocean noise pollution.

Award winning sailors and filmmakers, Teresa and Ben Carey, are taking the lead in an exciting new cooperative venture between the sailing and scientific communities. They are partnering with The Ocean Foundation, Dr. Nina Bednarsek and Swift Engineering to create a citizen science project in which ocean going vessels can take part collecting vital data that will help document the state of the world’s oceans. Their project, called Hello Ocean, launches this summer.
Ocean acidification was recently cited among the top five research interests of ocean scientists worldwide. Ocean acidification is the continuous decrease in the pH of the ocean, caused by carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.…

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Uniting Ocean and Earth for Climate Action

By Courtney Mattison  This winter, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris will feature one of the largest gatherings of world leaders to ever address global warming. The stage is set for all United Nations member states to come together and create an international agreement on the climate with the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C. In anticipation of this opportunity, President Barack Obama announced an action plan to combat climate change in June. Also this summer, Pope Francis demonstrated a masterful understanding of the science behind global warming and urged Catholics to take immediate action to combat greenhouse gas emissions in his recently released encyclical. Even China, the world’s heaviest polluter, has committed to significantly reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.…

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Protect the Grand Canyons of the Ocean

By Courtney Mattison

Hidden below the surface of Alaska’s icy waters lie the world’s largest underwater canyons, both more massive than America’s Grand Canyon. Home to orcas, walrus and fur seals, albatross and kittiwakes, king crab, squid, salmon and coldwater corals, brittle stars and sponges, the continental slope and canyons of the Bering Sea (known as the Bering Sea “Green Belt”) are home to an immense diversity of wildlife. Spanning more than 770,000 square miles between Western Alaska and Russia’s Siberian coast, the Bering Sea is an area of immense ecological value is also the source of more than half of the seafood caught in the United States and is subject to devastating commercial fishing tactics. This week, Mission Blue is launching a petition to urge Alaska’s North Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect the Bering Sea canyons and Green Belt.…

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