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Vatuvara Island: A Haven for Threatened Species

Vatuvara supports healthy populations of several globally threatened species, including the humphead, or Maori, wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus); giant clams (Tridacna species); and a large, prehistoric-looking land crab that rules this island. Coconut, or “robber,” crabs (Birgus latro) can be found roaming the forest floor searching for dropped coconuts, which they crack open with their powerful pincers to feed upon.

New York Marine Life Revealed at Brooklyn Photo Exhibition

“Underwater Wildlife New York,” an outdoor exhibit at Brooklyn Bridge Park by acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen, showcases the region’s most fascinating marine species and highlights efforts by scientists at the WCS’s New York Aquarium to study and raise awareness of the conservation needs of local marine wildlife and their habitats.

Signs of Adaptation to Climate Change

Colourful corals cover steep and gentle sloping reefs. Vibrant giant clams sit embedded along the reef flats. Curious reef sharks cruise along the edge of the reef while juvenile parrotfish weave through branching coral colonies. Turtles make swift escapes and a school of barracuda hover over the deep. All with a visibility of 40+ metres. This is only a hint of what the science team has experienced in three days of surveying the coral reefs around the two islands of Kaibu and Yacata.

Exploring Coral Reefs in the Northern Lau Group

On 8 May, 2017, a team of made up of fish and coral experts set off to the untouched waters and lush limestone islands of the Northern Lau Group. Vatuvara Private Islands, along with Vatuvara Foundation have partnered with WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) to conduct marine baseline surveys to assess the health of diverse coral reefs, 12 months after Category 5 Cyclone Winston passed through Fiji caused widescale damage.

Marine Conservation on Tetiaroa

Today we embarked for Tetiaroa with a two hour boat trip from Moorea. As we arrived at Tetiaroa we were fortunate enough to see humpback whales and spinner dolphins greeting us.

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.

After El Niño, a Global Strategy to Save Corals

The future of coral reefs depends on the response and adaptation of corals to rising ocean temperatures. Finding reefs that serve as climate refuges and managing them globally is one of the highest priorities for action. To achieve that goal will require funding reef science beyond the borders of wealthy countries and prioritizing the monitoring and reporting of coral reefs around the world.

Sharks and Costa Rica

By Dr. Erick Ross Salazar of the MarViva Foundation (a Mission Blue partner) Sharks are an essential part of the oceans. Their presence is an indicator of the good health of an ecosystem; their absence is representative of an overfished and out of balance marine environment. Even though sharks have been traditionally vilified in movies and general media,…

Mapping Ocean Wealth – Informing a Sustainable Ocean Economy

By Mark Spalding, marine scientist, The Nature Conservancy I’m a somewhat recalcitrant tweeter. I’m not quite sure whether it’s worth the effort, but last month I joined a trending topic, a first for me. I tweeted: #IAmAScientistBecause I want to explain to people how much we all NEED nature. It was honest, but I wondered…

On Wildlife Conservation Day, Protect Climate Refuges to Help Corals

By Emily Darling

Protected areas are a hallmark strategy in marine conservation. Yet when they were first created, a growing lethal threat had not yet fully revealed itself. Warming, acidifying, and rising seas have devastated the world’s sensitive coral reefs, widely regarded as “ground zero” for climate change. El Niños and marine heat waves can bleach and destroy vast areas of healthy, biodiverse reefs even where they occur within “protected” parks. If the global impacts of climate change do not stop at park boundaries, what can scientists do? One strategy is to identify and protect climate refuges – habitats with more stable environments where species can survive warming temperatures.

A Massive New Marine Protected Area Network in Gabon

By John Robinson

The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans. The President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres). The network – encompassing about 23 percent of Gabon’s territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) – will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the nation’s coastal and offshore ecosystems. As the President noted in his speech, this puts Gabon “near the 20 to 30 percent that marine biologists tell us is needed to maintain biodiversity and restore depleted areas outside parks.” This is a massive increase from the 1 percent of marine area currently protected by Gabon.

The Coral Triangle: Amazon of the Oceans

Home to over three quarters of the world’s coral species, The Coral Triangle is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon. It encompasses an area half the size of the United States and harbours more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. From Borneo down to the edge of the South Pacific, the Coral Triangle has some of the most breathtaking underwater landscapes, but the majority are buckling under the pressures of overfishing, resource extraction and climate change. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan.

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part Two: Totem Poles, New and Old

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer. As the journey continues, the Haida people showcase their ongoing way of life and stunning artwork.

Journey of the Sea Lion, Part One: Majesty of the Pacific Northwest

Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall join the voyage of the National Geographic expedition vessel, the Sea Lion, to tour and discover some of the best that the ecosystems and cultures of the Pacific Northwest have to offer.

Text Message Saves Trapped Whale Shark

A text message saves a young whale shark that got tangled in a fishing net off the coast of Indonesia in the Java sea.