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New Elephant Estimate Documents Major Decline

The International Union for Conservation of Nature released its 2016 African Elephant Status Report this morning, and the results are sobering: Africa has approximately 415,000 elephants, a net decline of more than 110,000 from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2015.

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.

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…

International Community Uniting for Wildlife, NGOs Say

All eyes are on government delegates attending the forthcoming 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP17), to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), opening on September 24 in Johannesburg. Many of the issues raised in motions at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii this week relate to illegal and unsustainable trade and to the impact of parallel legal markets for body parts of endangered species.

Hope Spots: An Actionable Plan to Save the Ocean

The immense problems facing the ocean often leave us feeling powerless. But what if there was a concrete, actionable strategy to nurse the ocean back to health? Dr. Sylvia Earle argues that there is. As a result, Mission Blue and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are opening up nominations for ‘Hope Spots‘ – marine…

Shark Fishing at Cabo Pulmo Marine Park

On February 27th 2016, the Mission Blue team was greeted by a dismal sight as we arrived at Bahia Los Frailes in Cabo Pulmo Marine Park: strewn across the beach were the hacked carcasses of approximately 20 sharks of several species. Sitting on the sand was a box full of shark fins, no doubt destined for Asian markets. The issue…

5 Discoveries in Cabo Pulmo Marine Park

On Mission Blue’s recent Hope Spot Expedition to Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, located in the Gulf of California Hope Spot, five discoveries were made. 1. The Ocean is For Everyone Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue team were deeply honored to spend the morning of February 27th with Eduardo Martinez, director of Fundacion Teleton. This Mexican nonprofit works with disabled people—like the…

Costa Rica Is Not Doing Enough to Protect Diminished Shark Populations

After the Mission Blue expedition to Cocos Island this past spring, we’ve been shining a spotlight on the unfortunate overfishing of sharks in Costa Rica’s waters. We took a moment this past week to catch up with our valued partners at Marviva, who are based in Costa Rica and have been fierce advocates for marine…

Mission Blue II Voyage: A Resounding Success in Calling for More Ocean Protection

Exploring over 1,500 miles of vibrant ocean in the South Pacific this past month, the Mission Blue II Voyage marked an important milestone for 21st century ocean conservation and underscored support at the highest levels for Hope Spots, Mission Blue’s flagship initiative. Aboard the 340-foot National Geographic Lindblad Orion, world leading marine scientists, conservationists, policy…

Life in the Gulf of California Hope Spot

The Gulf of California, a 700-mile narrow sea between Baja and mainland Mexico, is home to over 800 species of fish, 2000 invertebrates, as well as whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea lions. The area includes 256,000 hectares of mangroves, 600,000 hectares of wetlands and 70 percent of Mexican fisheries. Simply put, this area is one of…

Cashes Ledge: The Gem of New England

Led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, the Mission Blue team recently returned from a Hope Spot Expedition to Cashes Ledge, a pristine biological hotspot off the coast of New England. It contains Ammen Rock, a peak so tall that it disrupts the Gulf of Maine current, creating massive upwellings of cold nutrient-rich water…

Hurricanes Are Making History This Year

Did you know that the 2015 tropical cyclone season in the Northern Hemisphere is already the most active on record? It’s a fact. Check out the graph below published by The Weather Channel and created by Colorado State University tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach and National Hurricane Center specialist Eric Blake. The take away: we are breaking…

Mission Blue Hope Spot: The Glorious Gulf of California

Earlier this month Mission Blue launched a Hope Spot expedition to the Gulf of California, a very special area of the world beloved by ocean buffs, surfers, scuba divers and the local communities.The purpose of the Expedition is to shine a light on the beauty of this region and those that are working to protect it. Thanks to jam-packed days connecting with…

South Africans Unite Around Hope Spots

While 12 percent of the land on Earth is protected, less than 3% of the ocean has meaningful protection from fishing, pollution and resource extraction. Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of global initiative Mission Blue, visited South Africa last month in a whirlwind tour of that ravishing marine environment to help generate community support for more…

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…