Monthly Archives: December 2013

Mission Blue 2013 Year in Review

As we look forward to 2014 it’s clear that there is much work to be done to protect our planet’s Blue Heart. Yet, we should also look back and realize the good work done in 2013 towards our critical mission of creating Hope Spots in the ocean — the seeds of tomorrow’s flourishing marine environment. Right now, we are in a sweet spot in time. The time to act is now. If you have a few moments as the New Year rolls in, I invite you to read my article in The Virginia Quarterly Review to get a sense of what I mean by “sweet spot” in time. It is my great hope that you continue to feed Mission Blue with passion and inspiration into the New Year.…
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Diving Beneath the Antarctic Ice with Dale Andersen

Mission Blue ally and long-time friend, Dr. Dale Andersen, is currently camped out with his team on the shores of Lake Obersee, a perennially ice-covered lake not too far from Lake Untersee in the mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. They made the traverse out here via snowmobile and trucks last month and are soon heading home armed with fascinating scientific data and media from under the antarctic ice. Dale wrote Sylvia, “the skidoo ride was a bit challenging since we had white-out, near white-out and marginal conditions the whole way (125 km or so over 7 hours) but we made it out by midnight and had a tent up with some heat by 3am. Having been here a few more days we now have the camp established but our  winds are still pretty high (35-40 kts) so our work is a bit limited right now.  …
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Mission Blue Partner Kai Marine Reports on Loggerheads in the Med

We’re honored today to deliver you the results of Mission Blue Partner KAI Marine Service‘s Project OASIS, which studied loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. Enjoy! =-=-= Over 4 months of survey in the Mediterranean open sea, tracking and observing loggerhead sea turtles in their oceanic stage has enabled research to gain new insight of how this ecosystem functions. A total of 118 turtles have been part of the OASIS project in its first edition. Equipped with National Geographic Crittercam, satellite tags and acoustic tags, turtles have become “living oceanographic gliders” recording data that should hopefully allow scientists to reveal the mystery of the “Mediterranean Serengeti Paradox”. Each loggerhead turtle basking on the surface during its oceanic phase becomes an oasis that aggregates algae and invertebrates, ultimately aggregating a bait ball for top predators in the open ocean realm to feed on.…
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5 Reasons to Celebrate California’s MPAs

By Samantha Murray, The Ocean Conservancy They grow up so fast! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since California established the first statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs). I remember when these special places were just a glimmer in our collective eye—when scientists, fishermen, agencies and conservationists were still flirting with the idea of protecting coastal waters in a string of underwater parks from Mexico to the Oregon border. And now here we are, one year later, celebrating a first birthday on December 19 and 124 fun reasons to get outside, get in the water and raise a glass to California’s future. Looking forward and looking back, here are some of my favorite reasons to celebrate: 1. Booming business At a time when the economy is still top of mind for most Americans, California’s MPAs actually protect the jobs of people who rely on the tourism industry.…
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Whale Tagger Nan Hauser Makes a Big “My Hero” Splash

Nan Hauser, the intrepid whale tagger who works in the Cook Islands, recently had her work documented by Peter Stonier the Conservation International filmmaker for the My Hero International Film Festival. The video — available for viewing here — was selected as for first place in the “Series” category, underscoring public interest and support of whale protection efforts. Nan Hauser, President and Director of the Center for Cetacean Research and Conservation, is based in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, where she is the Principal Investigator for the Cook Islands Whale Research Project and Director of the Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre. Nan’s research includes population identity, Photo ID, acoustics, genetics, surface & underwater behaviour, navigation and migration of cetaceans. Her satellite tag work includes results on how whales migrate over long distances using linear constant course segments.…
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From the Desk of Sylvia Earle

Dear Friend of the Ocean, Recently, while diving in the warm waters of the Western Caribbean, I was reminded of the critical importance of our work.  When I made my first dives there some 50 years ago, the reefs were vibrant and decorated with schools of brightly colored fish.  As I kicked my way down to 60 feet below the surface, it didn’t take long to realize that so much has changed…and not for the better. Jacques Cousteau once mused on our complex relationship with Nature, “For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive. In this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.” Cousteau said these words last century.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle