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Marine Life Haven in Brazil Celebrated with Designation of Cagarras Islands and Surrounding Waters Hope Spot

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (April 16, 2021)

Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro lie the Cagarras Islands, a rugged, uninhabited archipelago settled by nestling seabirds and brilliantly colored crustaceans and seahorses under the water. The Cagarras Islands have served as a sparkling example of ecosystem resistance – while located in a heavily populated metropolitan area, these islands remain a beacon of hope for biodiversity, harboring several endemic species and serving as nursery and feeding grounds for many others. The Islands were designated as a Brazil federal natural monument in 2010, and make up the first no-take marine protected area (MPA) in Rio de Janeiro, Cagarras Islands Natural Monument (MONA Cagarras). The MPA no-take zone encompasses 10m around each of the six Cagarras islands and islets.…

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Exploring the Galápagos Islands with Dr. Sylvia Earle

By Elisa Cassiani

As a 17-year-old living in Napa, CA, my experience with the natural world was pretty conventional – dogs, cats, deer, squirrels. Although I have traveled to beautiful destinations in the past, they were generally established civilizations where wildlife wasn’t at the forefront. When my mom told me that I might be able to accompany her on an expedition to the Galápagos, I lunged at the opportunity. The trip was only a week away, but we managed to pull it together and get me ready for the experience of a lifetime.
Within the first hour of arriving, I got my first glimpse into the Galápagos, which is a Mission Blue Hope Spot. My mom works for Mission Blue, Dr.…

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A Blue New Deal for a Blue Marble Planet

By David Helvarg

Sylvia Earle likes to say ‘No Blue, No Green’ in explaining the role of the ocean as the incubator and cradle of life on earth, also the driver of climate, weather and rain, the generator of over half the oxygen we air breathers consume and the salty home of some of the deepest, widest, weirdest habitats and marine critters from eel grasses to methane seeps, sarcastic fringeheads to narwhales.
Incredibly, after four billion years of ocean evolution, all of this has now been put at risk by our own species’ thoughtless and greedy actions over the last fifteen decades or so.  We’ve been ignorant about the impacts of many of our activities failing to adopt the precautionary principle, “First, do no harm.” …

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Dr. Earle at the California Seamounts Hope Spot Launch in San Francisco

On May 14th, 2019, the Mission Blue team and the ocean conservation community gathered at the San Francisco Exploratorium to celebrate the launch of the California Seamounts Hope Spot. Dr. Sylvia Earle closed out the evening with her thoughts on protecting the California seamounts from exploitation and of the global state of ocean conservation.

“Thank you – all of you — for coming from where you came from to be here to salute the ocean and salute the cause for hope. I’m looking at the cause for hope right now: you’re here, and you care. We’re all at this amazing point in history – early in the 21st century — we’re armed with that most important thing called knowledge. …

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Mission Blue’s Journey to Magdalena Bay in Baja California Sur

The bull sharks of Cabo Pulmo inspired awe in our expeditions team as they glided into view on a January morning in 2019. If one were to dive all over the Gulf of California, as our team has done, they would be struck by the concentration of bull sharks in Cabo Pulmo. Why are these sharks so abundant and healthy in this place? Dr. Sylvia Earle would likely flash a grin and say “duh” at this point! It’s obvious: the community of Cabo Pulmo has protected their waters from fishing of any type, and voila, nature has flexed her muscles and the sharks have moved back in. What glorious creatures they are…powerful and pensive, as they cruise the reefs and wrecks at Cabo Pulmo delighting divers who travel from all over the world to revel in their majesty.…

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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.…

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Cocos Island Expedition: A Lesson in Enforcement

You don’t need to be a marine biologist to understand why Cocos Island is well worth protecting. While the schools of hammerhead sharks steal the show, the truth is that there are nearly 1,400 marine species identified around Cocos Island with a high degree of endemism. On a single dive, a lucky diver could see multiple species of sharks, mantas, yellowfin tuna, marlin, eels and a profusion of fishes. Good on the Costa Rican government, then, for having created Cocos Island National Park and thus prohibited the entrance of fishing boats within 12 nautical miles around the island.
As Mission Blue and our expedition partner Fins Attached cruised back to Puntarenas on the Undersea Hunter vessel, we had time to reflect on the jaw-dropping natural beauty we had witnessed at Cocos Island and the continuing struggle to protect it.…

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New Vision at Blue Vision: Heirs To Our Oceans at BVS6

By: Aislinn Clark, Dakota Peebler, Charley Peebler, Seth Weinfield, Nee-Yu Marcus, Cambria Bartlett and Kiran Garewal

Every two years a very important ocean conference happens in Washington, D.C. – the Blue Vision Summit (BVS).  This year it was particularly special. 
For the first time middle-school age kids, us! – Heirs To Our Oceans! — participated alongside our adult ocean-protecting counterparts.   That’s right – 9 Heirs descended upon our nation’s capital. 
What did we do there?  We helped make a plastic pollution fact sheet for our Congresspersons to review!  We sat on panels with experts!  We visited 10 of our Representatives’ offices on Capitol Hill (all in one day) asking that our congresspersons sponsor ocean-protecting bills, for our generation!  We hosted the first-ever Youth Mixer at the Summit! …

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Protecting the Coral Triangle with Mission Blue

PADI is encouraging all divers to actively participate in the protection of the Coral Triangle Hope Spot- a prime global center for marine biological diversity.
By: Emily Bates, PADI

For divers, the fact that the Coral Triangle holds 75% of the world’s coral species should be enough to fall absolutely in love with this ‘Amazon of the Seas’. And when we say that nearly 90% of those reefs are threatened, we should have your full attention.
Mission Blue is calling for all hands on deck with conservation efforts towards the Coral Triangle, a region consisting of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. This precious region faces warming seas, coral bleaching, destructive fishing, pollution, and coastal development that have caused 90% of the reefs to be considered ‘threatened’. …

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21,000 Jobs in Peril: Pipeline Threatens the Saanich Inlet and the Southern Gulf Islands Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist 

Did you know the cool waters of Vancouver Island provide some of the greatest diversity of marine life in North America? In fact, underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau remarked “it’s the best temperate-water diving in the world and second only to the Red Sea.” Saanich Inlet and the Southern Gulf Islands in particular are rich with ecologically diverse creatures and plants unique from anywhere else in the world. Small rocky outcrops create private sanctuaries for a wide variety of sea birds and marine mammals while kelp forests are filled with schools of fish, colorful anemones and sponges, pods of Orca whales, and the elusive Giant Pacific octopus.

It Takes a Village
In addition to spectacular endemic marine life, the Island’s small communities including many vibrant First Nations have engendered strong ties to the ocean for generations.…

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