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U.S. Ocean Leadership: Getting from 1% to 30% Marine Protection

The U.S. Department of State is set to host the third annual Our Ocean conference this week. This gathering of political leaders, philanthropists, scientists, diplomats, NGO executives, filmmakers, and private sector leaders, will be focused on the themes of marine protected areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, and marine pollution. Many of us in the ocean…

Hope Spot Nominations Are Open To The Public!

Citizens of the Blue Planet Have Spoken: 14 New Places in the Ocean, Vetted by IUCN and Mission Blue, Will Now Serve as a Flashpoint to Ignite Global Support for Marine Protection Over the past year, citizens and organizations across the planet have nominated marine environments especially deserving of protection – known as Hope Spots…

The Hawaiʻi Commitments from the 2016 IUCN Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) holds a congress every four years and this year it was in the island archipelago of Hawai‘i. Concluding today the congress adopted ‘The Hawaiʻi Commitments’.

World Conservation Community Calls for Countries to Shut Down Their Domestic Ivory Markets

Today’s vote at the IUCN World Conservation Congress calling for closure of domestic elephant ivory markets across the globe is vital — as the news about Africa’s elephants is as bad as bad news gets. As thousands of conservationists gathered in Honolulu for the World Conservation Congress, it was more than clear that IUCN members needed to take a strong stand if Africa’s elephants were to have a chance at survival.

World Heritage in the High Seas: A New Ray of Hope for Our Ocean Commons

Although the open ocean is remote, it is not safe from threats like climate change, deep seabed mining, navigation and plastic pollution. That is why the World Heritage Centre and the International Union for he Conservation of Nature partnered with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, The French Marine Protected Area Agency, Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre, with additional support from the Nekton Foundation, to explore the potential for applying the World Heritage Convention to iconic sites in the High Seas.

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…

Traffickers Busted in Indonesia, Whale Sharks Released Back to the Wild

Indonesian government agencies, supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) of the Wildlife Conservation Society, this week confiscated two illegally caught whale sharks from a major supplier of large marine megafauna to the international wildlife trade. The bust followed an 18-month investigation into a sophisticated operation that the WCU was first alerted to in late 2014.

Ascension: Halfway to the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve

    By Charles Clover, Executive Director, Blue Marine Foundation     On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2016, the world woke to the news that the British government was proposing to create a “marine reserve nearly the size of the United Kingdom” in the tropical Atlantic around the island of Ascension. It was a…

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…

Smuggled Iguanas Tell Larger Tale of Animal Trafficking

The two Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas (Cyclura cychlura) that arrived recently to Shedd Aquarium are familiar faces to me. I’ve dedicated more than 20 years of my life studying the three types (i.e. subspecies) of this species in The Bahamas. During this time, I have been fortunate to work with dedicated individuals and organizations, such…

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…