Blog Archives

Capurganá and Cabo Tiburón Declared a Hope Spot in Support of Leatherback Sea Turtles

CAPURGANÁ-CABO TIBURÓN, COLOMBIA, (October 9th, 2018) – A dive into the warm, crystalline waters off the coast of Capurganá, Colombia reveals a remarkably prolific scene: lush, richly colored corals resting below you as fish, dolphins and crabs zip by. A peculiarly large creature glides past you adorning a grey, rubbery flesh and pointy flippers. This gentle giant is a leatherback sea turtle, and most visiting divers are a bit star-struck upon spotting them.  These stunning coral reefs between Capurganá and Cabo Tiburón, Colombia have been declared a Hope Spot by international non-profit Mission Blue in recognition of the area’s resilient reef health and deep value as one of the world’s main nesting sites for the IUCN red-listed leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the endangered Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the vulnerable Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Uncategorized |

Leave a comment

Grand Cayman Port Controversy

In 2016, George Town Harbor was designated by Mission Blue as a Hope Spot. Mission Blue and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) define Hope Spots as “areas in the ocean recognized by scientists for having unique ecological attributes that make them especially deserving of designation as marine protected areas.” These areas that are privileged enough to be recognized have qualities of ecological, biological, aesthetic, or socioeconomic significance. Hope Spots were created to “encourage people to take responsibility and ownership of their environment” and now for the first time, the people of the Cayman Islands could have a direct say in the fate of their marine environment and the fate of George Town Harbor through a referendum. If you live in the Caymans, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) encourages you to take responsibility for your ocean and stand up for what is right with your vote. …
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, Hope Spot, mission blue, Uncategorized |

6 Comments

Declaration of Alborán Sea Hope Spot Coincides with Intercontinental Conservation Efforts

ALBORÁN SEA, (September 13th, 2018) – International non-profit Mission Blue has declared the Alborán Sea a Hope Spot, coinciding with the upcoming meeting between IUCN (Intercontinental Union for Conservation of Nature) Center for Mediterranean Cooperation and the Universities of the Alborán Sea to establish a unified system of regulations to protect the waters and species that inhabit it. The area of coastline that lines the Alborán Sea is of high ecological value with an incredible biodiversity of susceptible and endangered species that are currently on the IUCN Red List and protected species of MAPAMA (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment). The Alborán Sea is home to some of the highest biodiversity in the Mediterranean, including sea birds, turtles, seahorses, bottlenose dolphins, sharks and dwarf sperm whales.…
Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, sylvia earle, Uncategorized |

2 Comments

Bahamas on the Cusp of Making Long Island a Marine Protected Area

LONG ISLAND, BAHAMAS (August 14th, 2018) – Long Island in the Bahamas has been declared a Hope Spot by international non-profit Mission Blue in support of the Bahamian government’s tentative plan to proclaim a marine protected area in the area. Long Island Marine Management Area (LIMMA) has been a source of food, recreation and economy for Long Islanders since the settling of the local communities. Establishment of the 257,000 acre Long Island Marine Management Area would repair and protect the population of marine species important to the local and global economy, such as the endangered Nassau Grouper and the Queen Conch, and would aim to provide a sustainable balance between culture, economics and conservation. “The Long Island Marine Management Area (LIMMA) contains a rich biodiversity of habitat, ranging from mangroves and sea grasses, blue holes to coral reefs and deep water sites; habitat that is critical to the life cycle of the biodiversity of the Long Island fisheries and associated bird and marine species.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue |

2 Comments

Polar Bears of Svalbard

By Courtney Mattison for Mission Blue For those who have observed polar bears in the wild, the experiences they recall often sound reverential and daring. The world’s largest land predator, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are larger and more carnivorous than grizzlies and hunt both on land and in the sea. But on Mission Blue’s latest Hope Spot Expedition to the Norwegian Arctic, the bears we observed were more threatened than threatening. “So we just came upon a mother and cub and they are very very skinny,” said Mette Eliseussen, Manager and Expedition Leader for Arctic Voyagers at Basecamp Spitsbergen, as she led the Mission Blue Expedition Team aboard an inflatable boat within a safe distance of two polar bears. Kip Evans, Mission Blue Director of Expeditions and Photography and leader of the expedition, focused his camera lens at the bears and began shooting images.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Uncategorized |

2 Comments

Southern Ocean Retrospectives and Perspectives

Maggie Amsler, Department of Biology University of Alabama at Birmingham I recently sailed away from Antarctica on almost the shortest day of the year, plying north through the Southern Ocean to the port city of Punta Arenas, Chile and ultimately flying home to Alabama where I touched down on the longest day (and hottest?!) of the year in Alabama. The four-day transit featured relatively calm seas most of the time, even in the notorious Drake Passage. Island-lifestyle enthusiast Jimmy Buffett would term my relocation a “change in latitude” and as a career polar marine biologist, I have made this drastic hemispheric shift for each of my 27 expeditions to Antarctica. According to my back of the envelope scribbles, I have had the privilege of spending approximately eight years of my life beside, on, in and even above the Southern Ocean.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue |

2 Comments

Spitsbergen Beneath the Surface

By Courtney Mattison for Mission Blue Imagine rolling backwards off an inflatable boat into icy Arctic waters… on purpose. Enveloped in protective gear, you stay mostly dry as the cold sinks into your body and you descend into the frigid depths below. “The first thing that hits you is just the shock of the cold,” says Dr. Helena Reinardy, Associate Professor of Ecotoxicology at The University Centre Svalbard (UNIS) and member of the Longyearbyen Dive Club. She continues, “You think, I’ve got to get out right now!… But then you very quickly get used to it.” Beneath the waves, you find yourself immersed in planktonic life, including some surprisingly large zooplankton—pulsing golden green jellies the size of marbles, skittering shrimplike amphipods and graceful sea angels (Clione limacina).…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |

Leave a comment

Critically Endangered Goliath Groupers, Hope for Sharks and the State of Our Corals

By: Angela Smith, Shark Team One The world spoke and Florida state conservation managers listened regarding the fate of the goliath grouper in Florida waters! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted on April 26 to save the goliath grouper instead of opening up a potentially devasting fish and kill lottery on these iconic fish. Goliath groupers are critically endangered worldwide so the decision to not allow catch and kill was highly important for their continued recovery in Florida. These fish are classic apex predators, large, rare and only a few individuals occur on any given reef, so they are very important to the ecosystem. Goliath groupers do not have federal endangered species protection status yet, so the issue to catch and kill goliaths could come up again, but for the foreseeable future the fate of the goliath grouper is safe and the Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot community was a driving force in their protection.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |

Leave a comment

Stories From the Ice

By Courtney Mattison for Mission Blue If you’ve never experienced an iceberg before, you might assume that they are silent, bobbing solitarily in the ocean. In reality icebergs can be loud, crackling and popping, crunching and even rolling into one another. When a glacier expands and “calves,” it makes an explosive “bang” as a giant chunk falls off into the water, forming a new iceberg. Ride an inflatable Zodiac among them and the sounds grow, emanating from tiny air bubbles trapped thousands of years ago and then suddenly released into the air around you. Floating ice such as this and sea ice—ice formed directly from frozen seawater—provides platforms for seals and seabirds to rest, sunbathe and catch fish. Polar bears, the Arctic’s top natural predator, rely on sea ice to hunt seals.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Uncategorized |

2 Comments

Declaration of Jæren Coast Hope Spot in Norway Emphasizes Ocean Conservation and Ecotourism Over Oil Extraction

STAVANGER, NORWAY (June 16th, 2018) – While Norway has a leading role in the international oil industry and underwater technology, there are significant gaps in Norwegians’ knowledge of their own coastal marine ecosystems. In an effort to highlight the vibrancy of the local marine environment and as well as the threat that oil extraction presents to ecosystem integrity, Mission Blue has declared a Hope Spot at the Jæren Coast on the southwestern coast of Norway. The Hope Spot is championed locally by the Rachel Carson Prize, an organization dedicated to enhancing the legacy of Rachel Carson, the mother of the modern environmental movement. Dr. Sylvia Earle, the founder of Mission Blue, visited the Jæren Coast last year along with scientists and Norwegian policymakers, in order to bring more awareness to this rich marine ecosystem and also to accept the 2017 Rachel Carson prize.…
Posted in .Homepage, Featured, mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |

4 Comments

We've Updated Our Privacy Policy

Read our new privacy policy here.