Blog Archives

MPAtlas Launches on World Oceans Day

World Ocean Day marks the official launch of MPAtlas. An online digital map that assembles key information on marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world, it is a project of the Marine Conservation Institute, in partnership with the Waitt Foundation. We protect our future by protecting the ocean. By safeguarding vital marine habitats/areas/places, we refuel the engine of our blue planet, enriching our culture, society and economy. The stories of vibrant ocean places are cataloged on MPAtlas.

In a world where fisheries and marine biodiversity are declining, marine protected areas are an essential tool to alter the oceans’ downward trajectory. Scientists have repeatedly shown that MPAs rapidly improve the biomass and diversity of ocean life in both tropical and temperate ecosystems.  …

Posted in hope spots, marine conservation institute, MPA, MPAtlas, waitt foundation, world oceans day |

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An interview with Sarah Frias-Torres at IMCC2

Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres sat down with Dr. Phil McGilliavry and Brendan Tougher to discuss her current research and passion for marine conservation, which focuses on marine megafauna and the need for collaborative research initiatives. She has a Schmidt Post Doctoral Fellowship with ORCA (Ocean Research and Conservation Association), in Fort Pierce, Florida and is a marine biologist, oceanographer and behavioral ecologist.

Dr. Frias-Torres discussed the need for increased protection of the marine environment during her presentation at the IMCC2. To emphasize the fact that only 1.4% of the ocean is protected, she displayed a compelling image of the earth comparing the size of MPAs to the total size of the ocean (shown on the left). The tiny speck of yellow represents MPAs and the red circle represents the target of having at least 10% of the world’s ocean in protected areas by the year 2020 as agreed by the members of the Convention on Biological Diversity.…

Posted in IMCC2, MPA, Phil McGillivary, Sarah Frias-Torres, sylvia earle |

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Large MPAs for the Arctic? Challenges & Opportunities: A discussion with Dr. Dan Laffoley

Dr. Dan Loffoley

Dr. Dan Laffoley is the Marine Vice Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN, The focus of this Commission is a global partnership between park agencies and experts working together to protect the ocean. He is also the Senior Advisor for the Marine Science and Conservation Global Marine and Polar Programme at IUCN. Through his work, Dr. Laffoley has provided knowledge, innovation and leadership for new ways of conveying the importance of marine conservation to people throughout the world. To accomplish this mission, Dr. Laffoley advocates bringing science and policy initiatives together in order to communicate the threats of climate change to a broader audience. Dr.…

Posted in Dan Laffoley, IMCC2, MPA, Phil McGillivary, sylvia earle |

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A discussion about Multiple Use analysis and Marine Protected Areas with Jeff Ardron

Jeff Ardron (left) with Dr. Phil McGillivary (right)

Jeff Ardron is the Director of High Seas Program (Washington DC) for the Marine Conservation Institute an NGO that advocates for marine conservation ( He is co-principal investigator on the Surveillance and Enforcement of Remote Maritime Areas report (SERMA). At day two of the IMCC2 conference he talks about the relationships between fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs) with Dr. Phil McGillivary.
Dr. McGillivary: Where do you think issues between stakeholders and multi-use MPAs are going in the future?
Jeff Ardron: Fisheries and conservationists are coming together. Conservation advocates are starting to realize that we need some of the flexible tools that fisheries are using, such as time-space closures to address issues of ecosystem variability.…

Posted in fisheries, IMCC2, Jeff Ardron, MPA, Phil McGillivary, sylvia earle |

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Who is Mission Blue?

Mission Blue operates as an innovative, multi-year global alliance with multi-sector participation. Players from government, for-profit, media, education, conservation and other sectors coalesce on an ongoing basis with the goal of building collaborations and taking actions to increase global awareness about the urgent ocean crisis and reverse the decline of the ocean’s health….
Mission Blue is looking to accelerate the sharing of new ideas and knowledge, implement working solutions, and develop relationships—like those highlighted in the interview with Lorenzo—before time runs out….
Lorenzo Rosenzweig talks about the changing nature of collaboration in marine conservation and how FMCN and MAR Leadership are playing their part.

Find out more about what FMCN is doing to contribute to Marine Conservation at and…

Posted in Mission Blue Foundation, MPA, sylvia earle |

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Reef Splendors

A full and fascinating day of diving at three distinctly different sites here on the fringing barrier reef of Belize’s Ambergris Caye.
Our first dive was to Esmeralda, a reef cut in the outer barrier reef that drops precipitously to over 30 meters (100 ft). We worked our way across a colorful, healthy reef and followed deep sand channels at 25 meters (80 ft), encountering curious nurse sharks and fearless black groupers.
On our next dive we descended into the San Pedro Canyons, sharp fissures in the reef that drop away ever deeper—to 50 meters or more (165 ft). There, we spotted an inquisitive Green Moray eel and were surrounded by more nurse sharks and big groupers (at one point, we counted 12).…

Posted in ambergris caye, conservation, deep search, hol chan, Marine Protection, mission blue, MPA, sylvia earle |


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