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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,…

“Disenchanted”: Easter Island – A Paradise Devastated by Plastic Pollution

Arrived on the legendary Easter Island (Chile) on May 20th, the R4WO scientific teams have proceeded onto the first scientific surveys in the South Pacific Garbage Patch on the coasts of the island devastated by plastic waste. At the same time, they have also continued with different sociological studies undertaken until now with local populations.   …

Blue Vision’s Wave of Activists

Ocean and Coastal advocates from across the nation and our blue world converged on Washington DC May 11-14 for an inspired week of action, education, citizen lobbying and celebration. Here’s a brief summary of what occurred at the 5th Blue Vision Summit and the 8th annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards. Following an all-day ‘Blue Mind’…

Santa Barbara Oil Spill: What Will We Learn?

A month ago, KPPC journalist Sanden Totten joined me on the Ocean Conservation Society boat during one of our regular marine mammal surveys that my research team and I conduct off Southern California. He wanted to discuss and observe first hand the increasing presence of skin lesions and physical deformities that are plaguing common bottlenose…

States, Nations Announce Commitments Ahead of U.N. Climate Conference

Roughly six months before international leaders meet in Paris for a United Nations climate change conference, U.S. states and foreign nations are stepping forward with climate commitments. Canada, on Friday, pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. California is joining a climate agreement with eight foreign nations and…

Shedd Aquarium Participates in Pioneering Research on Caribbean Coral

Thanks to the pioneering research of Shedd Aquarium’s Dr. Tse-Lynn Loh, we now know that Caribbean coral reefs need an angel(fish). While the dangers to Caribbean reefs are widely known, Dr. Loh’s research, led by Dr. Joseph Pawlik of UNC Wilmington, focused on a largely ignored threat to coral populations: sponges. By studying heavily fished…

Is Coco’s a Paradise Lost? Costa Rica exports endangered Hammerhead Sharks

Contributions by Courtney Mattison of Mission Blue    Three hundred forty two miles west of mainland Costa Rica lies an oceanic island so spectacular Jacques Cousteau called it the “most beautiful island in the world.” Cascading waterfalls cut through lush foliage, the symphony of a thousand seabirds fill the sky, and the surrounding deep waters host…

R4WO Invited To The United Nations To Discuss Marine Plastic Pollution

The R4WO had a lot on its plate in the Big Apple in order to keep on passing the message about the urgency to act for our oceans. Litter is found in all the world’s oceans and seas and concerns are growing about impacts of marine litter on ecosystem health, biodiversity and human health. For this reason,…

Creating a ‘Lei of Hope’ for the World’s Oceans

Oceans are not too big to fail, says National Geographic Explorer Sylvia Earle. Can one boat’s journey send that message?

Swimming Among Pilot Whales in the Far North

We are not yet in Greenland, nor are we near Canada. We’re right smack dab in the middle of Davis Strait. The water is nearly 9,000 feet deep and I’m suited up like an astronaut.

Tracking a Group of Groupers

Guest post by Kristine Stump, postdoctoral research associate, Shedd Aquarium The beautiful and iconic Nassau Grouper was once one of the most important fishery species in the wider Caribbean, but due to heavy over exploitation is now scarce in many coral reef ecosystems throughout its native region. As mesopredators, groupers play a vital role in maintaining…

The Global Reef Expedition: Palau

The coral reefs of Palau hold approximately 400 species of hard corals, 300 species of soft corals, and 1400 species of reef fish. Palau is internationally renown for its beautiful landscapes and seascapes as well as its biological significance to the environment. The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation undertook its third expedition with the International League of Conservation Photographers in this fabled archipelago, working with iLCP Fellow Keith Ellenbogen.

Peace Boat passengers consider the cost of shark fin soup

With his orange life vest tightly fastened and carrying a plastic water gun, 6-year-old Murakami Yoshinao climbed down the motorboat’s fibreglass steps and plopped into the sea below. The water sloshed around Yoshinao’s shoulders and shadows moved across the bone coloured sand near his feet. Then the blacktip sharks came closer – one glided right…

Pictures: Hippo Struggles to Escape Ocean Surf

Residents of Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique were shocked to find a hippopotamus apparently struggling in the ocean surf in front of the beach town earlier this month. The giant mammal, which can weigh two or three tons, is certainly no stranger to water, living much of its life in Africa’s rivers and lakes. But while hippos have been known to stray into the sea in Gabon, it’s a very rare occurrence in southern Africa

Where Is a Lion a Shark? In the Savannas of the Sea

Mtumbwi hauwezi kujua panapokuwa pamejaa maji. (Swahili) The dugout canoe does not know the depth of the water. (English) So believe the Hangaza, an ethnic group living along Lake Victoria near Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The lake has long been an object of contemplation for the Hangaza. They know that animals like crocodiles swim just beneath…