Ocean Stories

 
Blog Archive

 

Investigation for Conservation

By: Sebastian Nicholls, Colombian Ocean Advocate and Mission Blue Volunteer Spanish version below. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   On deck, there was suddenly a frenzy of work. Pole spears, appendages for taking tissue samples, satellite tags and acoustic tags covered the tables where we had just eaten our breakfast. The scientists on board the Ferox boat–named after one of the species of shark found in the area, the smalltooth sand tiger shark or Odontapsis Ferox–were getting ready to roll.      Mission Blue organized an expedition to Malpelo Island, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, along with partners including the Malpelo Foundation, Conservation International Colombia, and Migramar. One of the goals of the trip was to study sharks and fish that use the area, to improve their conservation. …
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Colombia’s Ocean: a Paradise Worth Protecting

By: Sebastian Nicholls, Colombian Ocean Advocate and Mission Blue Volunteer Spanish version is included below. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________       Colombia is an ocean country– its marine jurisdiction is 40% of its total surface extension. Its ocean area branches out from islands in its possession– Malpelo in the Pacific and San Andres and Providencia in the Caribbean carve out longer branches of marine jurisdiction than it would have without them. Like most countries though, Colombia isn’t doing so well by its ocean. Sustainable Development Goal 14 includes targets for 10% of marine areas protected by 2020 and sustainably managing and protecting marine areas by the same deadline.     Depending on what you measure, Colombia is close to those targets or very far.…
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An Island of Hope for the Ocean’s Future

By: Sebastian Nicholls, Colombian Ocean Advocate and Mission Blue Volunteer Spanish version is included below. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “We are in the port of Buenaventura, on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, and we are ready to go to Malpelo,” Sandra Bessudo tells us, as the crew readies the ship to depart. “36 hours and we’ll be there.”      Sandra is the Hope Spot Champion for Malpelo, the island we were getting ready to explore. She led efforts to protect the waters around Malpelo Island, which harbors amazing reef and open-ocean ecosystems chock-full of life. Through her tireless efforts, Malpelo became a Mission Blue Hope Spot in 2016.         Sandra founded the Malpelo and Other Marine Ecosystems Foundation, Mission Blue’s science partner for our expedition to the site, twenty years ago.…
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Continental Shelf off Georgia’s Coast Celebrated as New Hope Spot and State’s “Blue Heart”

Continental shelves make up just 8% of the ocean’s geology, yet play an immensely important role in its health: the shallow waters of a continental shelf absorb more sunlight than the rest of the ocean, allowing for a rich and healthy marine ecosystem to thrive. The shelf hugging the state of Georgia including the Blake Plateau is wider than any other area along the Atlantic Coast (more than 80 miles wide), making it a critical engine for ocean productivity in the Western Atlantic. Part of what makes the Georgia continental shelf through the Blake Plateau so special is that these waters are home to endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)– life that local marine conservationists want the rest of the state to recognize and value.…
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Innovative Marine Restoration Front and Center with Pangatalan Island Hope Spot

PANGATALAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES, (September 19th, 2019) – In 1992, French business developer Fred Tardieu and his wife packed up their belongings and departed from their home, careers and ease of familiarity to pursue what they thought would be a well-earned retirement. Little did they know at the time, their unassuming plunge into adventure would lead them to become trailblazing marine conservationists in the Philippines. Driven by their love for the ocean and eagerness for bettering the world, in 2011 they purchased Pangatalan Island in Palawan and founded Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, where they work alongside conservation partners and local community members to restore the island’s unique ecosystems that have been damaged from unsustainable practices. Alongside their partners, in 2017, they established a 45-hectare marine protected area (MPA) surrounding the island – with another MPA double its size currently in the works.…
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Mauritius Recognized as New Hope Spot in Support of Unifying Local Marine Conservation Community

(BLACK RIVER DISTRICT, MAURITIUS) The island of Mauritius is a paradise to behold: palm trees and fringing reefs almost completely line the coasts, with waterfalls and white sand beaches defining the rich, dynamic landscape of the small volcanic island. The island’s west side, the Black River District, is known for its exquisite dive spots where a plunge beneath the waves will acquaint you with creatures like octopuses, dolphins, rays and turtles. However, much like the rest of the world, Mauritius experiences threats from pollution (like phosphates that inhibit coral growth and pesticides that kill the animals) and the effects of a changing climate.     In its battle to fight these threats, the country faces unique obstacles including poaching, overfishing, a general disregard of the laws in combination with under-enforcement of the marine protected areas and impending plans for certain projects that will mean disaster for the marine ecosystem.…
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Diving at Guanahacabibes Hope Spot!

By: Asher Warren Hi, I’m Asher Warren and I’m 10 years old. This summer I got PADI dive certified at Mermet Springs, a quarry in Southern Illinois. My instructor and everyone there were so encouraging, kind and helpful. The PADI eLearning portion was easy and fun – especially the diagrams in the review videos. Of the five eLearning sections, my favorite was section one because it talked about the effects of increasing and decreasing air volumes. The pool skills were very exciting because I got to put on the gear and breathe underwater. I had a big fear of equalizing, which is pushing air into your ears and sinuses. My mom helped me work through that and before I knew it, we were going down to the bottom of the pool.…
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Stop the Tribugá Gulf Sea Port: Latest Hope Spot in Colombia Celebrates Wondrous Biodiversity and Need for Official Protection

Tribugá Gulf, COLOMBIA (August 29th, 2019) –  The Tribugá Gulf, or Golfo de Tribugá, is located on the Pacific coast of Colombia in the western side of the “Chocó” province touching the municipality of Nuquí. This region is perhaps the most biodiverse in the world, and chosen by magnificent animals like hammerhead sharks (Sphyrnidae) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) to breed and raise their young. The “Ensenada de Utría” National Park is found inside the gulf, with its lush rainforests providing enriching ecotourism opportunities for those who visit. However, this beautiful pocket of the world is facing a threat to its natural wonders: the Colombian government is looking to build a Seaport in the Tribugá Gulf, right next to the existing National Park within it, threatening to end the local sustainable ecotourism that supports many people of the Chocó Province- not mentioning the countless marine and land species.…
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Newly Declared Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Shines Spotlight on Community-Wide Conservation– and Dr. Earle’s Beloved Hometown

FLORIDA GULF COAST, UNITED STATES (August 23rd, 2019) –  The Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot hugs the state’s west side, spanning from Apalachicola Bay in the north to Ten Thousand Island in the south. The coast is famous for its immense beauty, rich biodiversity and booming local industries that sustain hundreds of thousands of people, and has become a cornerstone for sustainability. Conservationists, local business owners and members of the general public alike have built a culture upon preserving the integrity of the coast’s natural state– and a determination to protect the area’s marine life from threats created by human interference.  The home city of this Hope Spot, Dunedin, is especially near and dear to Mission Blue’s heart– this town is where Dr.…
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Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area Named a Hope Spot in Support of Greater Protection

EXMOUTH, AUSTRALIA (August 15th, 2019) – – Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is a spectacular wilderness supporting nearly 2,000 species of fauna. Tourists trek there from all corners of the globe to snorkel the fringing coral reef, to witness one of the world’s most important humpback whale refuges, swim with the world’s largest fish the Whale shark, get a glimpse of dugong that are part of the last stable populations on Earth and many other creatures including manta rays, turtles and rare dolphins. It is also an internationally recognized wilderness ecotourism destination with the uninterrupted natural vistas free of industrial activities. Lesser known is that Exmouth Gulf supports an extensive intact arid-zone estuary containing vast tracts of mangroves and an incredible diversity of marine wildlife revealed in a new science review led by Dr.…
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