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Patagonia: A Land of Wonder, A Sea of Hope

We’re proud to bring you this guest blog post from Sebastian Nicholls.“WE’RE TALKING ABOUT TERRAFORMING MARS WHILE WE MARS-IFY EARTH” –Sylvia Earle Imagine a land, at the tip of a continent, where the rugged coastline cuts into the ocean like a curved dagger, and the whales sing a different tongue. A land whose ferocious natives resisted invasion after invasion attempted by Europeans, but for a brief hiatus accepted a French lawyer and adventurer as their king. This land of myth and adventure, where Sir Francis Drake reported seeing giants, caught the attention of even the worldliest travelers of old. Darwin, upon landing there in December of 1833, wrote “The first landing in any new country is very interesting, and especially when, as in this case, the whole aspect bears the stamp of a marked and individual character.” The southern stretch of the American continent—known now because of its namesake outdoor brand—Patagonia, is still wild, but under threat.…
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The Goliath Grouper still needs your help in Florida waters!

This just in from our partners at Shark Team One regarding Goliath Groupers in the Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot!There is controversy over this large, lovable and docile creature! Even though most Floridians and people across the world know that goliath groupers are critically endangered, other people want to allow a select open season on this iconic fish due to the false belief that its numbers have increased enough to justify such a slaughter. Goliath groupers are extinct in most of their worldwide range and an official (SEDAR) stock assessment was done in Florida waters in 2016 but the results were thrown out due to lack of reliable indicators of the abundance of goliath groupers outside Florida, according to the FWC website.…
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Dr. Sylvia Earle Convenes Mission Blue Marine Conservation Gathering on Petit St. Vincent

Legendary ocean explorer and marine conservationist Sylvia Earle convened a meeting of Mission Blue’s Board of Directors and supporters on the private island of Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines, Nov. 4-8, 2017. Co-Hosted by the Philip Stephenson Foundation, the gathering focused on solutions for the protection and restoration of marine environments, centered around the Hope Spots program launched by Mission Blue.The attendees included high level representatives from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), alongside foundations, entrepreneurs, consultants and NGOs that are engaged in marine conservation projects and support Mission Blue. Over three days the participants reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding the blue heart of the planet by achieving a target of 30 percent of oceans fully protected by 2030 and by using Hope Spots as a catalyst for no-take marine protected areas around the world.…
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Gulf of California Shark Conference 2017

La Paz • Baja California Sur October 26-27, 2017 BY INVITATION  Many of us ask, “What can I, as one person, do?” But, history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something. – Dr. Sylvia Earle Mission Blue is uniting a conference of organizations and individuals motivated to discuss approaches to curbing the overfishing of sharks in the Eastern Pacific and Gulf of California. The conference, which is co-organized by Mission Blue and Pelagios Kakunjá and partially sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, will take place at the Hotel Catedral in La Paz on October 26th and 27th, 2017. The goal of the conference is to raise awareness among decision makers at local and federal levels about the ecological importance of the Revillagigedo Islands, the Gulf of California, and the migratory corridors that link shark species—especially as they pertain to threatened shark populations, such as the endangered scalloped hammerhead shark.…
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Mission Blue Names Newest Hope Spot off Lesbos Island in Greece

Lesbos is an historical Greek Island, home to important ancient personalities like poet Sappho, a way-station between the Aegean and Black Seas, as well as a modern crossroad used by migratory birds and a focal point of the European humanitarian crisis. On the north coast of Lesbos in the waters off the village of Petra, lies a marine area called Avlaki that boasts magnificent assemblages of aquatic birds, marine mammals and vibrant reefs in an impressive volcanic environment. As in most of the Aegean, fishing and other human impacts over the centuries have degraded the marine environment. Yet, the area still shimmers with life and attracts eco-tourists from around the globe. In concert with the Our Ocean Conference gathering happening now in nearby Malta, Mission Blue is thrilled to announce our newest Hope Spot at Avlaki, Lesbos Island, Greece!…
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What do you get when passion and private enterprise collide? A story of love, hope and the world’s richest reefs

The Mission Blue Council has just named the Misool Marine Reserve in South Raja Ampat, Indonesia as a Mission Blue Hope Spot. Misool is a shining beacon of hope inside the Coral Triangle, the most biodiverse marine ecosystem in the world. Here’s Misool’s story about how conservation and tourism can be the perfect marriage… Back in 2005, when Raja Ampat was visited only by a handful of daring divers aboard their pirate-esque Phinisi schooners, Marit Miners and her future husband Andrew spent their third date, which lasted nearly a month, diving Misool’s undiscovered reefs. They explored the region’s maze of karst outcroppings and rugged islets.  During a surface interval between dives, the pair stumbled upon a secret beach which was home to an itinerant shark finning camp, clearly contributing to the estimated 100 million sharks killed each year to supply the shark fin soup trade.…
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Turning the Tide on Plastics in the Mediterranean

by Courtney MattisonAt first glance, the cove of Cala Figuera in Mallorca’s Bay of Palma looks like a Mediterranean paradise, with sun-kissed boulders tumbling into glittering turquoise water. Take a closer look at its beach, however, and you will discover that instead of sand, it is comprised of heaps of plastic. Snarls of Posidonia seagrass tangle with plastic straws, fishing line, drink cups and syringes. Thousands of tiny plastic sticks from cotton swabs and lollipops are strewn like confetti across the beach. Dig into the top layer of sun-bleached plastic rubble and you will discover a rainbow of bottle caps, toys, tile spacers, cigarette butts and microplastics at least a meter thick. “We’ve actually come on a good day and the sea is relatively clean,” said Brad Robertson, Founder and President of Asociación Ondine, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization based in Mallorca, Spain.…
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Destacada oceanógrafa Sylvia Earle bucea en la Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt y llama a las autoridades a protegerla

This content La bióloga marina y reconocida conservacionista, Sylvia Earle buceó en las aguas de la Reserva Nacional Pingüino de Humboldt aprovechando su asistencia al Cuarto Congreso Internacional de Áreas Marinas Protegidas, IMPAC4, que se realiza en Coquimbo. En la visita, Earle compartió con buzos locales, quienes le mostraron las maravillas naturales de uno de los lugares más ricos del mundo en términos de biodiversidad. ©CÉSAR VILLARROEL “Quisimos invitar a Sylvia para mostrarle la importancia de preservar este lugar y compartir con ella el trabajo que hemos realizado para protegerlo”, señaló César Villarroel, documentalitsta y capitán del Centro de Buceo Explorasub, organizador de la visita de Earle. “Nuestra meta es impulsar el turismo sustentable, aprovechando que este lugar es un laboratorio natural de interés tanto para científicos como para el público en general y que se amplien las zonas de protección para todas las islas del Archipielago Humboldt”, añadió.…
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Citizen Scientists Nurture the Moreton Bay Hope Spot

The power of the people that helped to secure Hope Spot designation for Moreton Bay Marine Park in 2016 continues to build on that strong stewardship legacy. In 2017, citizen scientists have been collecting important information on the habitats and wildlife across beautiful Moreton Bay/Quandamooka including topics from mangroves to manta rays. These efforts complement the knowledge and care provided for tens of thousands of years by the traditional owners of the region, and is increasingly important with the rapidly growing population in this unique region. UniDive Citizen Scientist trained in Reef check and Coral Watch survey techniques just returned from another successful survey at Flinders Reef. “Citizen scientists provide not only data, but hope. The commitment to collecting high-quality information to help care for this unique place and its wildlife demonstrates how the community can play a truly important and influential role in science-based stewardship,” said Jennifer Loder, Reef Check Australia.…
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Earth Law Center Brings Legal Firepower to Mission Blue Hope Spots

Guest Post by the Earth Law CenterEarth Law Center (ELC) is honored to be joining the Mission Blue team as a partner. We are inspired to complement and support Mission Blue’s commitment to expand ocean protection by transforming the law to recognize and protect the rights of nature by catalyzing the growing Earth Law movement. Earth Law recognizes the interconnectedness between humans and nature, and asserts that if humans have inherent rights due to their existence, so too do ecosystems and fellow species.  Fundamental legal rights have played a critical role in the ongoing evolution of society, as previously legal “things” became legal persons. Just as human rights drew a line in the sand to curtail our abuse of other humans, the securing of fundamental legal rights for nature will support and enhance ongoing efforts to ensure nature exists, thrives and evolves. …
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle