Blog Archives

A Blue New Deal for a Blue Marble Planet

By David Helvarg Sylvia Earle likes to say ‘No Blue, No Green’ in explaining the role of the ocean as the incubator and cradle of life on earth, also the driver of climate, weather and rain, the generator of over half the oxygen we air breathers consume and the salty home of some of the deepest, widest, weirdest habitats and marine critters from eel grasses to methane seeps, sarcastic fringeheads to narwhales. Incredibly, after four billion years of ocean evolution, all of this has now been put at risk by our own species’ thoughtless and greedy actions over the last fifteen decades or so.  We’ve been ignorant about the impacts of many of our activities failing to adopt the precautionary principle, “First, do no harm.”  That’s just thoughtless. …
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Critically Endangered New Zealand Dolphins – We Have To Act Now

By Shannon Rake For the sake of the nearly extinct Hector’s and Māui dolphins, please urge the New Zealand government to ban all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour as recommended by the IUCN and the scientific community. The Hector’s and Māui Dolphins Threat Management Plan laid out by the Government of New Zealand DOES NOT provide for adequate or effective protections for these highly vulnerable species. Please join us in calling to ban all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour. If you have 20 seconds right now, PLEASE use this pre-filled form and make your public comment here. This comment not only calls for the ban on all gillnets and trawl nets up to the 100 meter depth contour, but also calls for several other commonsense actions that would go far to help save these species from extinction.…
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Haven for White Sharks Off Western Australia’s Southern Coast Highlighted as New Hope Spot

SALISBURY ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, (July 8th, 2019) Thirty nautical miles off Western Australia’s southern coast lies Salisbury Island, a remote landmass of limestone and granite that has long held secrets of Australia’s past: the continent’s geological history, archaeological heritage and the mysterious life of the white shark, a sea creature that has captivated mankind for millennia. The waters surrounding Salisbury Island have recently been named a haven for white sharks– and dubbed the “best” by the filmmakers of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week Isle of Jaws series—thanks to the unique biodiversity of the area. What sets this shark haven apart from many others around the world is the fact that Salisbury Island has been left virtually untouched by humans. Conservationists with organization Finding Salisbury, Inc.…
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Meet Dr. Pablo García Borboroglu, the Scientist and ROLEX Awards for Enterprise Associate Laureate Determined to Save the World’s Penguins

There is perhaps no one on Earth that knows quite as much about penguins as Dr. Pablo Garcia Borboroglu. Starting in his own backyard of Patagonia, Argentina, Dr. Borboroglu has dedicated his life’s work to studying and protecting the world’s 18 different penguin species from the growing threats they are facing.  Dr. Borboroglu was recently named an Associate Laureate of ROLEX’s Awards for Enterprise, in which he will receive support for his work in protecting penguins around the world and understanding how they’re affected by climate change, fisheries, pollution, human disturbance and introduced predators. His actions will benefit all life in the ocean, and ultimately, on land as well.  Mission Blue got the opportunity to learn more about Dr. Borboroglu’s work and how he plans on getting the rest of the world enthusiastically involved in ocean conservation.…
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A Discussion with Dr. Emma Camp, Coral Conservationist and 2019 ROLEX Awards for Enterprise Associate Laureate

  Emma testing out the Flexi-Chamber she designed to measure rates of photosynthesis on coral reefs.   Dr. Emma Camp is an Australian marine biologist on an audacious mission– she’s working to conserve corals in the Great Barrier Reef and ultimately across the globe that are rapidly declining under climate change. Dr. Camp championed a groundbreaking discovery: there are specific species of “Super Corals” that are able to survive in the extreme conditions brought on by global climate change: warm, acidic waters with insufficient oxygen levels. This discovery provides Emma a unique opportunity to uncover what supports coral survival into extremes, and along with her colleagues, she hopes to use this knowledge to aid rehabilitation efforts of the world’s coral reefs.…
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Dr. Earle at the California Seamounts Hope Spot Launch in San Francisco

On May 14th, 2019, the Mission Blue team and the ocean conservation community gathered at the San Francisco Exploratorium to celebrate the launch of the California Seamounts Hope Spot. Dr. Sylvia Earle closed out the evening with her thoughts on protecting the California seamounts from exploitation and of the global state of ocean conservation.     “Thank you – all of you — for coming from where you came from to be here to salute the ocean and salute the cause for hope. I’m looking at the cause for hope right now: you’re here, and you care. We’re all at this amazing point in history – early in the 21st century — we’re armed with that most important thing called knowledge. …
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First Ever Hope Spot in mainland United Kingdom Declared Along Scotland’s Argyll Coast and Islands

ARGYLL COAST, SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM The strikingly diverse landscape of the West coast of Scotland is one of a storybook come to life. Imagine idyllic, rolling green hills, cut with streams of clear water carving a path over rocks blanketed in tufts of spongy moss. Weathered stone castles stand like sentries along the dramatic coast, piercing a delicate veil of grey fog. Jagged rocks along the coast loom above placid, white sand beaches meeting crystalline blue waters. Plunging beneath the surface, shipwrecks lie preserved, their presence a reminder of the inextricable link between the sea and our maritime heritage, spanning four hundred years from the Spanish Armada to WW2 losses, these sites, many of which have become artificial reefs full of marine life, are windows into the past and enable us to discover the stories of seafarers, trade and conflict.…
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Leaders in Sustainability Highlighted in Newly Declared Tetiaroa Atoll Hope Spot

Tetiaroa Atoll is a rare, secluded place that serves as a refuge for nesting green sea turtles and a variety of seabird species, surrounded by a healthy and ecologically important coral reef and a brilliant turquoise lagoon. Unfortunately, like other atolls around the globe, Tetiaroa and the coral reefs that support it are at serious risk due to the negative effects of climate change and resource misuse– but there is hope. Local nonprofits Tetiaroa Society and Te mana o te moana, along with their partners – The Brando Resort, The Brando Family Trust, and the local government and community – are working to preserve and restore the atoll. International nonprofit Mission Blue has declared the Tetiaroa Atoll a Hope Spot in support of Tetiaroa Society’s goal of establishing full protection of the island from a ground-up, grassroots approach and in support of Te mana o te moana’s long term sea turtle nesting program on the atoll.…
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Ocean Organizations Designate Seamounts off California Coast as Newest Hope Spots in Worldwide System

CALIFORNIA COAST, UNITED STATES (May 14, 2019) – Deep below the ocean’s surface, not far from the beautiful beaches of the California coast, where millions sunbathe, surf, and enjoy the majesty and tranquility of the sea, lies a world of underwater mountains, volcanoes and ancient islands called seamounts. These seamounts provide a home to biologically important treasures critical to the health of the ocean. Although virtually unknown to the Golden State’s nearly 40 million residents, the seamounts are home to creatures like the endangered blue and gray whales and sperm whales, sharks, rare deep‐sea corals that take hundreds of years to grow, and seabirds hunting high overhead for fish that aggregate near the seamounts. Unfortunately, the dozens of vibrant seamounts along California’s coast and across the globe face a risky future due to potential deepsea trawling, ocean warming and acidification, offshore drilling, and the rise of deep-sea mining, a practice that extracts minerals from the seamounts and seabed.…
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Rodriguez Seamount – A Geologic Rarity

By Samuel Georgian, Marine Biogeographer at Marine Conservation Institute Rodriguez Seamount is a 10–12 million-year-old seamount located approximately 42 miles off the coast of southern California. It towers over a mile above the seafloor, with its tallest summit cone standing over a little over 2,000 feet below the surface. Once upon a time, Rodriguez was an island standing as tall as 230 feet above sea level, with an area of 2.6 square miles. Like the neighboring San Juan Seamount, it has since sunk back beneath the waves largely due to the subsidence of the ocean crust beneath it. Due to the erosional forces it was exposed to as an island, its modern summit largely consists of a large flat dome, qualifying Rodriguez as a guyot – a flat-topped seamount.…
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