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Tag archives for marine protected areas

WCS, Waitt Foundation, blue moon fund, and Global Environment Facility Announce $48 Million Marine Commitment

At the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean 2016 Conference, in Washington, D.C., the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) — together with the Waitt Foundation, the blue moon fund (bmf), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — announced a $48 million commitment to expand the world’s marine protected areas (MPAs). The conference, organized by Sec. of State John Kerry, brings heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and others together to tackle key issues impacting our oceans globally.

Saving Sharks and Coral Reefs in Malaysian Borneo

Borneo. The name speaks of wildness, of dense rain forests, biodiversity, of elephants and orangutans. Eighteenth century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-theorist of speciation, natural selection and evolution, traveled extensively throughout Malaysia and Indonesia describing terrestrial flora and fauna. His work founded the field of biogeography, and Wallace’s Line describes the separation of species between the ecoregions…

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…

Important and Overlooked: Protecting Open Water

The open ocean may be vast but it’s not limitless. Under that glassy expanse, the pelagic environment is more than empty blue water. It’s streaked and spotted with migratory thoroughfares and breeding grounds for marine mammals, turtles, fish, and seabirds. Thousands of miles from shore, the sea still thrums with life. Yet there is no…

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…

Climate Solutions in Madagascar

Madagascar, with its unique biodiversity and rapidly growing and predominantly poor, rural population is typically found on the ‘top ten’ of countries the most vulnerable to climate change. Yet climate solutions exist and are, in fact, already working. What Madagascar – and arguably much of the rest of the developing world – now requires is an assured and sustainable source of financing to help scale up these initiatives to have an effect at the national and international level.

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…

Thinking Outside the Box on Fisheries Management? Think Again.

This week, thanks to OpenChannels, I came across an interesting scientific article critiquing a new concept in fisheries management called “balanced harvesting”. Co-authors of the article include prominent fisheries scientists such as Rainer Froese, Daniel Pauly and Sidney Holt. (For those interested, the article is open access.) Until now, I had not heard of “balanced…

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…

Expedition Madagascar: Conserving Coral Reefs with Community Conservation

By Dr. Emily Darling

With colleagues from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), we recently surveyed the first community-led Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Madagascar. These areas provide genuine hope for coral reef conservation and small-scale fisheries management under the shadow of emerging oil and gas development, deforestation, illegal fishing and climate change.