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My Top Ten U.S. Ocean Stories of 2014

Given the cascading disasters the ocean faces from industrial overfishing, pollution, coastal sprawl and climate change there’s been some surprisingly good news in the United States this year. Here are ten stories – both good and bad – that impacted the blue in our red, white and blue. Pacific Monument Expanded President Obama expanded the…

Protected No Longer? Desperate Fisheries Managers Want to Open Closed Areas.

By Carl Safina and Elizabeth Brown By the early 1990’s, decades of heavy fishing had depleted several of New England’s important fish species, including cod, haddock, pollock and flounders (collectively referred to as ‘groundfish’). Fishermen had been catching fish faster than they could reproduce and had degraded fish habitats by dragging nets. To help rebuild New…

Next Steps for U.S. Pirate Fishing Rules

Do you know if your seafood dinner was caught and imported legally? Chances are good now that you wouldn’t be able to find out. But this week, a special task force of a dozen federal agencies released recommendations on how the U.S. can rein in illegal, or pirate, fishing and make seafood more traceable and sustainable.…

Hōkūle‘a: Making a Grand Entrance in Auckland

After several exciting weeks of traversing the Northland of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and interacting with incredible communities all throughout, our leg of the Worldwide Voyage finally concluded with a sail into Auckland, the capital city, and a day of ceremonies.

Seafood Entrepreneurs Advance and Grow Ventures in 2014

As we gear up for the January launch of the Fish 2.0 business competition – an initiative that connects seafood entrepreneurs and investors – our team spoke with finalists from our 2013 competition to hear their news. One of the goals of Fish 2.0 is to create the conditions and connections that will help sustainable seafood…

Mangrove deforestation in Madagascar: What are the options?

The last time you heard from us at Blue Ventures, my colleague Garth Cripps was talking about shark fishing on Madagascar’s west coast.  Here Dr. Trevor Jones, our Blue Carbon Science guru, talks about his favorite coastal ecosystem, mangrove forests, and some of the ways we’re looking to partner with communities for their conservation. Take…

Exploring Indonesia’s Last of the Wild – the Forgotten Islands

By Stuart Campbell and Nils Krueck

The Forgotten Islands occupy a region in the southeastern Indonesian province of Maluku, a sparsely-populated area covering about 50,000 square kilometers that includes a vast expanse of coral reefs. As the region’s name suggests, not much is known about these reefs and their associated fisheries. One important reason for this is that for much of the year the seas are wild and unable to be accessed. Another reason is that Maluku’s Forgotten Islands support around 70,000 people who practice traditional customs that hark back to before the conversion of communities to Christianity. These customs include the guarding of marine resources against occasional visitors, such as nomadic fishers from central Indonesia

Yokohama to Port Louis: reflecting on the first leg of the voyage

After three weeks at sea with Peace Boat, charting a westerly course around the world, time has become a slippery concept. Every few days we hit a new longitude and gain an hour – an anomaly I’m told will be resolved somewhere beyond Easter Island, when we shoot through 24 of them in sixty minutes.…

Exploration to Conservation Through Underwater Robotics

Some of the strongest validation that conservationists get towards the need to protect a certain area comes directly as a result of exploration of that area. Through exploratory expeditions, we get to see the magnificence and scientific significance that these places have to offer. This provides the justification behind many of the political and economic…

Converting “Dumb Luck” to Fortune

Evan Rapoport explains why dumb luck isn’t always so dumb—and how paddling in the ocean led him to work for Google and stare down armed Maori tribesmen for the Worldwide Voyage.

Beyond the textbooks: in Singapore, Japanese Peace Boat passengers reflect on the Sook Ching massacre [Kota Kinabalu to Singapore]

  On Friday 28 November, Sabah tour guide Akmal gave 33 Japanese Peace Boat passengers a whistle stop tour of the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu. The group’s itinerary – which also included a visit to a public zoo and a heritage village, lunch, and allotted time for souvenir shopping – was tight, and they…

100 Trans-Atlantic Sailors Rally for Science

A huge fleet of ships studies the plastic content of the ocean in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.

Yokohama to Kota Kinabalu: Zookeeper Bando Gen on the shifting relationship between humans and animals

When a shortage of work in the agricultural sector prompted newly qualified veterinarian Bando Gen to accept a job offer at Hokkaido’s Asahiyama’s zoo, the situation did not look promising. Zoos in Ueno and Yokohama had bought in exotic animals such as sea otters and koalas – the epitome of kawaii (cute) in popular culture…

On Wildlife Conservation Day, Protect Climate Refuges to Help Corals

By Emily Darling

Protected areas are a hallmark strategy in marine conservation. Yet when they were first created, a growing lethal threat had not yet fully revealed itself. Warming, acidifying, and rising seas have devastated the world’s sensitive coral reefs, widely regarded as “ground zero” for climate change. El Niños and marine heat waves can bleach and destroy vast areas of healthy, biodiverse reefs even where they occur within “protected” parks. If the global impacts of climate change do not stop at park boundaries, what can scientists do? One strategy is to identify and protect climate refuges – habitats with more stable environments where species can survive warming temperatures.

Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Cascade Head

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand Part 1   Part 2  Terry Thompson finds us in a parking lot in Lincoln City. After traversing this strip of a town all morning, looking for signs of the marine reserve just offshore, we have ended up outside the uninspiring four-story city administration building with little to show for…