Blog Archives

Ocean Acidification – A Clear and very present danger

From their ongoing ‘Sea Change’ series, Seattle Times environmental reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman “present an extraordinary window on a scientific fact: The oceans are rapidly acidifying.” If we don’t act fast to undo the damage, the consequences for the oceans – and for us, whose lives depend on them – are profound. The Seattle Times explores how ocean acidification could alter the seas on a scale almost too big to fathom. The video, “Sea Change” was produced by PBS NewsHour, using The Seattle Times’ reporting and video, and funded in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Featured Photo: This pteropod, also known as a sea butterfly, comes from Puget Sound. The tiny shelled creatures are an important food source for many fish and seabirds.…
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Photo of the Week ~ Walking Shark

Mission Blue partners at Conservation International have played a part in the discovery of a new species of Epaulette Shark, or Walking Shark (Hemiscyllium Halmahera.) Discovered in Halmahera in north eastern Indonesia, this will be the ninth recognized species of walking shark in the world. These are relatively small sharks with the largest only reaching 121 cm (48 in) in adult body length. Instead of swimming, these sharks “walk” along the ocean floor by wriggling their bodies and using their small paddle-like pelvic and pectoral fins to push themselves forward across the ocean floor. It will only swim if being pursued by a predator, and even then, not for long.  The good news is, according to Dr. Mark Erdmann, the local government and emerging dive tourism industry is excited to promote its newly-named endemic species.…
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Photo of the Week ~ Sargasso Fish

Our photo of the week is the Sargassum Fish, Histrio histrio, to celebrate Mission Blue’s Sargasso Sea Hope Spot and the work of the Sargasso Sea Alliance. An iconic resident of the Sargasso Sea, it’s life is typically spent adrift on tropical and warm temperate oceans among floating Sargassum Weed. Although the Sargassum Fish is capable of swimming quite rapidly, it often crawls through the Sargassum Weed, using its pectoral fins like arms. The unique appearance of the fish features stalked, grasping, limb-like pectoral fins with small gill openings behind the base, a trapdoor-like mouth high on the head, and a “fishing lure” on the snout. The Sargasso Fish is an ambush predator and also a cannibal – one individual was found to have 16 juveniles in its stomach!…
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Photo of the Day ~ Plumose Anemones

Earlier this month, Mission Blue Board Director Dan Laffoley found these Plumose Anemones on a reef just north of St Martins, during his explorations in and around the Isles of Scilly European Marine Site and Marine Conservation Zone – a jewel in the crown of UK MPAs. Photo: (c) Dan Laffoley  …
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In Curacao with Dr. Sylvia Earle, Stephen Frink & DAN

Earlier this month, Dr. Earle had a chance to dive the reefs of Curacao with Stephen Frink, while attending a DAN Board of Directors Meeting. The result? These magical photos with Her Deepness!   All photographs (c) Stephen Frink http://www.stephenfrink.com…
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Photo of the Day – King Penguins Cozy up in South Georgia

King Penguins, Aptenodytes patagonica, are one of the key iconic Antarctic species that we are working hard to protect as we continue to fight for the Antarctic Ocean.  King penguins have been equipped with depth recorders and have been found to regularly dive to 500m (1600ft).  Deep dives tend only to occur during the daytime with only shallow dives being recorded at night. Photo Courtesy of David Neilson…
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Photo of the Day ~ Flamboyant Cuttlefish

The Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Metasepia pfefferi, also known as Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish, is a species of cuttlefish occurring in tropical Indo-Pacific waters.  This particular fellow lives in Mission Blue’s Coral Sea Hope Spot, at Tubbataha Reef,  a coral reef atoll and a Natural Marine Park in the Sulu Sea, Philippines. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, the huge atoll has been under protective management for twenty years. Recently it has been discovered that the Flamboyant Cuttlefish’s muscles contain a highly toxic compound that is yet to be identified. Research by Mark Norman with the Museum Victoria in Queensland, Australia, has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of a fellow cephalopod, the Blue-ringed octopus. Another interesting thing about this animal is that it walks as often or even more than it swims. …
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Photo of the Day ~ Nudibranch Feast

A nudibranch, Flabellina nobilis: Coryphella nobilis feeding on a hydroid Tubularia indivisa in the chilly waters off Norway this spring. The nudibranchs chow down on these hydroids by climbing up the stalks and munching down on the business end of the cnidarian! Location: Gulen, Norway Photo (c) Alexander Mustard…
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Will Antarctica Soon Become the Largest Marine Protected Area on Earth?

This month, CCAMLR, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, will meet in Bremerhaven, Germany to again debate whether or not to establish a large marine protected area in one of Mission Blue’s Hope Spots, the Ross Sea. The 25 participating nations will ultimately decide the fate of what has been called the most pristine ocean wilderness on earth. And it’s by no means a done-deal. It’s critical that our voices continue to be heard loud and clear – all the way to Bremerhaven. One of the things you can do is to sign the petition from the Antarctic Ocean Alliance on this page, and also ask to receive their newsletter for updates so that you can continue to support each stage of the campaign.…
Posted in Multimedia, Partner Stories |

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Featured Video ~ Sylvia Earle on the Ross Sea

On July 11th, CCAMLR, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources will meet in Bremerhaven, Germany to again debate the fate of the Ross Sea. Let the world know you are watching, and send a message to the countries who may stand in the way against Antarctic protections by following this link. Click on one of the countries that is still on the fence, and send an email (which the Antarctic Ocean Alliance has done for you!) It’s easy & quick and so important! In this video, Mission Blue teams up with Biotherm and the Antarctic Ocean Alliance to speak out in support of our Ross Sea Hope Spot. You can make your voice heard too! We’ll be posting more in the next weeks about how you can help.…
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