Catastrophic Declines in Earth’s Wilderness Areas Over the Last 20 Years, Study Finds

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said today.

“They demonstrate alarming losses comprising a tenth of global wilderness since the 1990s – an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon. The Amazon and Central Africa have been hardest hit,” the New York-based WCS added in a statement released at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.

These Giant Manta Rays Just Want to Hang Out

How would you like to hop in the water with a giant sea creature that can grow almost 25 feet across and weigh up to two tons? For marine biologist and National Geographic grantee Joshua Stewart, it’s all in a day’s work. He has a soft spot for giant oceanic manta rays and is fighting to protect these gentle giants.

An Ocean Perspective for a Planet at the Crossroads

A conversation between Ocean Conservancy’s CEO Andreas Merkl and Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and navigator of the iconic Hōkūle‘a, as Hawaiʻi hosts the IUCN World Conservation Congress. With a shared passion for our ocean, Merkl (@AndreasMerkl) and Thompson spoke about experiencing unparalleled beauty on the water, the plague of plastic pollution…

A Startup in the South Pacific Could Be a Worldwide Model

Alfred Kalontas, the founder of ALFA Fishing in Vanuatu, bootstrapped his business from nothing to become the preferred seafood supplier to over 70 percent of the hotels and restaurants in the island nation’s capital, Port Vila.  He is now starting to export his high-quality, sustainably caught products to New Zealand and is seeing demand from…

World Heritage in the High Seas: The Time Has Come

The report by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which explores the different ways the World Heritage Convention may one day apply to the wonders of the open ocean, which covers more than half the planet, was presented to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii a few hours ago. Sunken coral islands, floating rainforests, giant undersea…

Booming Seaweed Farming Exposes Producers and Environment to Risks, Experts Warn

The booming, multi-billion dollar seaweed farming industry could easily and needlessly drop into expensive pitfalls experienced previously in both agriculture and fish farming, the United Nations University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (a UNU affiliate institute), warned at the IUCN World Congress in Hawaii today.

Enlarged Papahanaumokuakea Benefits Hawaii’s Traditional Fishing Community

Last month’s historic expansion of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument will, amongst many other things, assure that Hawaii’s small-boat commercial, subsistence, recreational, sport and charter boat fishermen will continue to be able to catch the tunas, billfish, bottomfish, and other species so important in our local communities.

The much larger Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument does not prevent our small boat fishermen from landing ahi or any other species, and in time it will mean our fishermen will have access to more ahi, bottom-fish and other species.

Does Your Favorite Restaurant Serve Ocean Destruction?

Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, university cafeteria, or even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace report, highlights which large food companies are failing to protect workers and our oceans.

Row as One to Save our One Planet, Obama Says at Start of IUCN Congress (video)

President Obama addresses the leaders of the Pacific Islands and representatives of the IUCN Congress on climate change, his expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument and other protected areas in the U.S., and his administration’s focus on clean energy. “We’ve got to ‘unite to move forward,’” he said, quoting a traditional Polynesian saying. “We have to row as one. If we do, we might just save the one planet that we’ve got.”

Applause for President Obama for Bringing Strong Conservation Message to Hawai’i

 WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) applauded President Obama’s remarks to leaders from the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and attendees of the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

#MahaloObama: Celebrating the Largest Protected Area in the World

The following is a blog post by Jim Robinett, Senior Vice President of External and Regulatory Affairs at Shedd Aquarium. On Friday, the White House announced the passing of a bill to expand Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine ecosystem off the coast of Hawaii, making it the largest protected area in the world on land…

Woo-woo; Whale Magic?

Whales leave us with questions so puzzling they are unsettling, unshakeable, at times even disturbing. Are whales a product of magic, or something else?

Future-Proofing our Ocean Treasures: Climate Action at Marine World Heritage Sites

On Board the National Geographic Endeavour — Climate change is a global problem, but it wears many faces, causing flooding in some areas and drought in others, record high temperatures one year, and cold the next. In the ocean, we are already seeing coral bleaching, increased acidity, rising seas, and changes to the food web.…

Opinion: Papahanaumokuakea Expansion Is Counterproductive for Hawaii’s Sustainable Fisheries

Hawaii is the most secluded island chain in the world. The ocean and the resources that come out of it are invaluable to the state. Eating and catching fish is a way of life and deeply rooted into the culture. Hawaii consumes nearly three times more seafood annually compared to the rest of the mainland.…

Zoos and Aquariums Mobilize to Save the African Penguin from Extinction in the Wild

One would think there is a problem putting these two words together “African & Penguin.”  Don’t penguins need snow and ice to survive?  Looking at the 18 species of penguins found throughout the Southern Hemisphere, many of the species live in more tropical areas, not only at the bottom of the world. There are penguins found in the…