Blog Archives

Whale Tagger Nan Hauser Makes a Big “My Hero” Splash

Nan Hauser, the intrepid whale tagger who works in the Cook Islands, recently had her work documented by Peter Stonier the Conservation International filmmaker for the My Hero International Film Festival. The video — available for viewing here — was selected as for first place in the “Series” category, underscoring public interest and support of whale protection efforts. Nan Hauser, President and Director of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, is based in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, where she is the Principal Investigator for the Cook Islands Whale Research Project and Director of the Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre. Nan’s research includes population identity, Photo ID, acoustics, genetics, surface & underwater behaviour, navigation and migration of cetaceans. Her satellite tag work includes results on how whales migrate over long distances using linear constant course segments.…
Posted in mission blue, Partner Stories, Uncategorized |


From the Desk of Sylvia Earle

Dear Friend of the Ocean, Recently, while diving in the warm waters of the Western Caribbean, I was reminded of the critical importance of our work.  When I made my first dives there some 50 years ago, the reefs were vibrant and decorated with schools of brightly colored fish.  As I kicked my way down to 60 feet below the surface, it didn’t take long to realize that so much has changed…and not for the better. Jacques Cousteau once mused on our complex relationship with Nature, “For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive. In this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.” Cousteau said these words last century.…
Posted in mission blue, Uncategorized |

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Exploring the Gulf of Mexico Deep Reefs with Megan Cook

By Megan Cook, Mission Blue Young Explorer Megan will rejoin the E/V Nautilus in the Gulf of Mexico in late July further exploring hydrocarbon influx sites.  Participate as the team explores the Gulf of Mexico Deep Reefs Hope Spot by sending in questions to or by following on Twitter or Facebook. ~ Ed. Where is your favorite coral reef? I’m willing to bet you answered somewhere tropical and warm, where the sunshine glitters into clear, shallow water bathing polyps and divers alike.  Nearby there might be a beach scene where drink umbrellas wouldn’t be out of place. That would have been my answer too, until last month…  Descending to the seafloor took the ROV Hercules over an hour. From the control van of the E/V Nautilus, I sat with my watch team from the Corps of Exploration as HD video poured in from the ROV Hercules.…
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West Coast Artist Finds Symbolism in Form & Movement of Orca Whales

By Courtney Mattison Every city Claire Brandt lived in as a child overlooked the water. When you grow up in the Pacific Northwest as she did, you come to recognize orca whales as a daily presence in the collective imagination, from indigenous art to the mainstream media. When young Brandt looked out over the water, she says, “I always wondered if the whales were there. They represented mystery, possibility, and awe.” It’s no surprise, then, that after years of working as a professional artist in San Francisco and Seattle following her 2005 MFA in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, Brandt has turned to the orca as a muse for her work. Until around 2010, most of Brandt’s inspiration came from land-based animal and human subject matter, including her own body.…
Posted in mission blue |


Benchley Awards honor ocean heroes

By Courtney Mattison During the 6th Annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards at the Carnegie Institution for Science last week, the word excellence was not used lightly. From the bold actions of Senegalese President Macky Sall expelling foreign fishing vessels for over-exploiting Senegal’s waters to young Sean Russell’s work to mobilize youths over marine plastic pollution, the ocean conservation efforts celebrated Wednesday night were truly exceptional. Noting that until recently there were no high profile awards to celebrate achievements specifically within the ocean and coastal community, the Blue Frontier Campaign began honoring ocean leaders at its 2004 Blue Vision Conference in Washington, D.C. After Peter Benchley – author of Jaws and keynote speaker at that initial event – passed away, his widow and fellow grassroots environmental activist Wendy Benchley agreed to let the Blue Frontier Campaign title the annual awards in his honor.…
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Blue Vision Summit spurs ocean conservation on Capitol Hill

By Courtney Mattison On Wednesday, members of Congress met with what was likely the largest ocean advocacy group to ever visit Capitol Hill during “Healthy Ocean Hill Day” – part of the fourth biennial Blue Vision Summit organized by the Blue Frontier Campaign in Washington, D.C. Groups of multi-generational ocean lovers ranging from two to 20 members met with over 100 Congressional offices and represented a growing constituency to turn the tide for our public seas. Called “seaweed rebels” by Blue Frontier founder David Helvarg, this empowered group was comprised of marine conservationists; businesses; scientists; recreational ocean users; youths; communicators; artists and others from dozens of states and overseas to help advance marine conservation and U.S. ocean policy. The Blue Vision Summit began in 2004 as a way for ocean lovers and stakeholders to unite to address opportunities and challenges facing the health of our ocean and coasts.…
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Free Ride

“We gotta do better, it’s time to begin. 
You know all the answers must come from within…. Come on and take a free ride….” From where I write, on the coast of California, I can look out and see dolphins swim gracefully through forests of ocean kelp. But I know that on the other side of the Pacific, it’s a very different scenario. Ric O’Barry is in Japan monitoring the dolphin hunt in Taiji, famously exposed in the movie “The Cove.” In picturesque Hatajiri Bay, the dolphins are being forced into a cove and trapped, then sold or slaughtered, in one of the worst drive-capture fisheries on the planet. Even though a horrified international public expressed outrage after seeing the brutality unleashed on these innocent sentient creatures in “The Cove,” the drive continues there and in other parts of Japan.…
Posted in mission blue |


Mission Aquarius Training Underway in Key Largo

By Deb Castellana (c) Aquarius Reef Base Training has begun for Dr. Sylvia Earle and her team of aquanauts in Key Largo, Florida in preparation for Mission Aquarius. On Sunday, July 16th, the team will undertake a saturation dive lasting until July 21st to the Aquarius Reef Base, sitting in 63′ of water in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It’s the last remaining underwater laboratory in the world, and Mission Blue will be there both to celebrate 50 years of underwater exploration, and also to bring awareness to the looming funding cuts ahead. This may well be the last mission of Aquarius. Since 1993, the Aquarius undersea lab has supported 114 missions, with over 550 peer-reviewed scientific publications produced, numerous educational programs and television pieces.…
Posted in Aquarius Reef Base, DJ Roller, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Hope Spot, Liquid Pictures 3D, Mission Aquarius, mission blue, One World One Ocean |

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Canadian Diver Broadcasts Mission Blue’s Message

For Canadian diver Mavis McRae, having the chance to join with Dr. Earle on May’s Bahamas Hope Spot Expedition was a dream come true. Fourteen years ago, McRae picked up ‘Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans’ in the University of Manitoba bookstore. The book changed her view about our ocean planet, and she determined that someday she would meet her hero, Dr. Earle in person. McRae’s wish came true in May of this year when Mission Blue invited members of the public to join in a Bahamas Expedition to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Even before joining the expedition, McRae queried Mission Blue about how she might help to spread our message of throughout Canada. Engaging the services of a public relations consultant to create a campaign, she has just now finished a tour of Canada from Winnipeg to Calgary, including radio and television appearances, newspaper articles and visits to several schools.…
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mavis McRae, mission blue |

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