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Japan-based NGO Peace Boat sets sail from Yokohama

Hundreds of spectators gathered on the wooden decking of Yokohama’s Osanbashi international terminal to wave goodbye to Peace Boat’s 86th Voyage this Friday. Some huddled around home-made placards bearing the names of friends and relatives onboard, others held aloft renditions of Yokohama’s Bay Bridge, and one group had outfitted themselves in Santa Claus getups for…

Hōkūle‘a: Return to Aotearoa

After almost six months since departing from Hawai‘i, Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) to a Maori welcoming ceremony that was not only stunning to see, but historical as well.

Fishing for Our Future With Lures From the Past

Nahaku Kalei explains more about sustainable fish-eating and the data being gathered by the Worldwide Voyage.

It’s Time for a Sea Party!

Tired of the political gridlock in Washington and elections that don’t get us anything but unlimited corporate campaign spending and attack ads? Go take a dip in the ocean and get over yourself. We don’t have time for cynicism or despair. We’ve got a job to do if we’re going to save the crucible of…

TODAY: Chat With National Geographic Explorer Enric Sala

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a National Geographic Explorer? Here’s your chance to connect directly with someone who has ventured to unexplored areas, discovered previously unknown life forms, taken stunning photographs, and put it all to work to help protect some of the last wild places on Earth. From the Russian Arctic to…

Are Marine Protected Areas in the Right Places to Protect People, or Just Nature?

Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy I’m at the World Parks Congress, a-once-a-decade global meeting of scientists, protected area managers and other experts to focus on the state and future of national parks and nature reserves. There’s so much to talk about here—new science and technologies to monitor parks, ways to engage local…

Mapping Global Fishing Activity for Anyone to See

When it comes to ocean conservation, these seem to be somewhat optimistic times. The oceans are under a greater threat than ever before, but we have been lucky to see a number of ocean-related successes in recent years. There is an increased understanding by the general public about seafood sustainability and the impact of overfishing.…

Gabon Announces Protection of 23 Percent of Its Waters

The announcement by President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon means that whales, sharks, turtles, rays, and countless other marine species in jeopardy from industrialization and overfishing will now have a blue haven on the West African coast.

Surfing Explorers “Stoked to Collect Data”

While traveling the world in search of un-surfed waves, the crew from SurfEXPLORE participates in ocean research through the Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Microplastics project.

A Massive New Marine Protected Area Network in Gabon

By John Robinson

The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans. The President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres). The network – encompassing about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) – will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the nation’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. As the President noted in his speech, this puts Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” This is a massive increase from the 1 percent of marine area currently protected by Gabon.

A Spectacular Week of Film (and Ocean!) Appreciation Concludes at the Blue Ocean Film Festival

A remarkable spirit of cooperation and mutual support pervaded the Blue Ocean Film Festival this year as the tightly-knit ocean community came together and shared not only films, but visions for more ambitious ocean conservation in the future. Support of marine sanctuaries was omnipresent among the gathered filmmakers, explorers, politicians and other notables. The festival, which…

Lifetime Achievement Award for Sylvia Earle

For decades, NG Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle has been a legend in ocean exploration and conservation. Now her legacy and ongoing work are being honored with the 2014 Glamour Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement award.

Artificial Reefing- The Blue Solution to America’s Aging Infrastructure?

The world’s oceans are littered with abandoned man-made objects and structures that are considered “repurposed” materials and dubbed artificial reefs. Old tires, toilets, navy ships, oil platforms, retired subway cars, and airplanes, have all either intentionally or unintentionally, been converted into artificial reefs due to the indomitable nature of marine life. Which of these reefs…

Hōkūleʻa: Honoring the Kermadec Islands

This particular leg of the voyage, starting in Samoa and ending in New Zealand, is deeply significant because it follows the path of ancient Polynesian voyagers through the Kermadec Islands. Today, it is one of the most species-rich migration routes in the Pacific.

Rapa Expedition: The Difficulties of Leaving Paradise

After living here in far southern French Polynesia for the past few weeks, leaving is difficult. We’ve come to love the waters and the life they hold, but will especially miss the wonderful people that call this place home.