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Got an idea to protect our oceans? Here is $10k to make it happen.

In recent years, there has been a growing global understanding of the importance in establishing marine protected areas (MPA) in our oceans. These sanctuaries serve a fundamental role in creating safe spaces for fish to spawn and grow before spilling out into the open ocean to benefit environmental rejuvenation and fisheries alike. These have been…

Protecting Antarctic Marine Ecosystems: From Anemones to Whales

Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot about efforts to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean. For someone like me, who works on these issues and studies the Antarctic environment, the justification for MPAs is obvious. Antarctic ecosystems are bursting with incredible marine life, much of which we have yet…

Lewis Pugh Swims the Seven Seas

Lewis Pugh was recovering at home in South Africa when I spoke with him by phone. Just four days earlier he had finished a monumental swimming challenge, completing seven long-distance swims in under a month. He quietly said “It was much harder than I thought”, which was a surprising admission from this world-renowned endurance swimmer.…

Small Caribbean Island Shows Bold Ocean Leadership: Barbuda Overhauls Reef and Fisheries Management for Sustainability

On August 12th, Barbuda Council signed into law a sweeping set of new ocean management regulations that zone their coastal waters, strengthen fisheries management, and establish a network of marine sanctuaries. This comes after seventeen months of extensive community consultation and scientific research supported by the Waitt Institute. With these new policies, the small island…

Our Ocean Conference: A Turning Point for Ocean Conservation?

By Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jacob James Ocean conservation is in need of action, not talk, but the Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Secretary John Kerry and the U.S. Department of State last week was not just hot air. Rather, it was worth its carbon footprint, and we were honored to attend. All in attendance…

More, Bigger, Better Marine Conservation

Recently one of my peers referred to doing more conservation as addressing the problem of how to take marine protection to scale.  Covering nearly 70% of the planet and home to thousands of species of plants and animals, the ocean certainly represents a huge management problem. For some marine conservation funders, global scaling of marine…

Celebrating Success: California’s MPAs at one year

It’s been one year since California launched it’s statewide network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and Ocean Conservancy is celebrating the occasion by highlighting all the great opportunities MPAs provide for outdoor fun. Whether you’re in the water or on the coast, the protection MPAs offer can mean cleaner beaches, more wildlife, and expanded recreational and business…

Tribes Take the Helm in West Coast Ocean Planning

By Shaunna McCovey The Tolowa Dee-ni’ of the Smith River Rancheria in California have always been the caretakers of the ocean and coast. During the summer months, Tolowa families set up camps to fish for smelt on the local beaches. Caught smelt are elaborately arranged on the sand to dry while Tolowa fishermen and women watch…

The Bottom Line: Protecting Real Estate for Fish

For businesses dependent on high foot traffic, location is everything. It’s much the same out on the water, where finding the right spot can make all the difference for commercial and recreational fishermen alike. Advances in technology make it easier to target fish more quickly, in deeper water, and more precisely than ever before. This…

Antarctic MPA Talks Fail Again: Can the Promise of Protection be Fulfilled?

Well, that was a bust. After negotiations to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean failed for the third time in two years last week, it’s difficult to fully express the mood of the government delegates and NGOs who supported the MPAs. Perhaps it is best represented by this photo. Although there were…

Blue Balloons and Binoculars: Rally Kicks Off Latest Push for Antarctic MPAs

Once again, delegates from 24 countries and the EU, plus observers from environmental groups, have descended upon Tasmania to discuss the protection of the Antarctic marine environment, specifically marine protected areas (MPAs). When I last wrote about marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Antarctic, the situation was pretty grim. Nevertheless, the countries proposing the MPAs,…

The Top Three Lessons From MPAs Worldwide

By Samantha Murray We may be from more than 80 countries and we don’t all speak the same language, but after just two days, the 1200 participants at the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress in Marseille, France are bonding. We all believe marine protected areas (MPAs) play an important role in the future of…

The Ocean’s Unsung Heroes – Hooray for the Little Guys & Just Keep Swimming!

When most people think about ocean creatures, they picture large charismatic species like whales, penguins, polar bears, sharks and turtles. These magnificent animals are the “celebrities” of the oceans and tend to received significant public and scientific attention. In fact, they are even play starring roles in Hollywood movies, such as Happy Feet, Dolphin Tale,…

A National Park for Blue Whales?

In one day, a baby boy gained 200 pounds (90 kilograms) just from his mother’s milk.  At this rate, it seems like he’ll be fully grown in no time. But this little guy has a long way to go.  He’s a blue whale calf, and in five to 10 years, he’ll be the largest animal…

Tragedy on the Antarctic High Seas

Last week history was almost made. Delegates from two-dozen nations gathered to discuss the fate of the Southern Ocean. Several countries were proposing what would have become the world’s largest marine reserves to protect biodiversity at the bottom of the world. Years of science – in some cases spanning more than 150 years – were built…