Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mysteries of the Galapagos Seafloor Revealed

Ever wonder what the seafloor of the Galápagos looks like? What goes on below the surface around the magnificent cluster of islands that Darwin’s finches and those wonderful giant tortoises call home? Our partners at the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation went to find out, and the results have captured our imagination. Using an innovative high-resolution seafloor habitat mapping technique, researchers from the Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) and the National Coral Reef Institute at Nova Southeastern University collected hundreds of underwater videos and over one million depth readings around Baltra, Darwin, Floreana, Isabela, Marchena, Urvina, and Wolf Islands in June 2012 as part of the six-year KSLOF Global Reef Expedition. Example of the benthic habitat map from the south of Baltra Island viewed within the KSLOF World Web Map.…
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Bringing Ocean Conservation to the Web

By Andrew Kornblatt, co-founder of the Online Ocean Symposium The Online Ocean Symposium is a digital forum that uses streaming video to connect and broadcast different voices from the ocean world. We have guests that speak on issues ranging from ocean acidification to plastic legislation to climate change. Each conversation is not only live-broadcast where the audience can ask questions directly of the participants, but it also is forever housed in YouTube. For the past two years we have invited guests like Sylvia Earle, Bill McKibben, Don Walsh and most recently, Richard Branson, to discuss their work and passions as they relate to the ocean. We have hosted over 30 different Hangouts. Now the Symposium is honored to become an official partner of Mission Blue.…
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UN Meeting Offers Hope for High Seas Protection

Things are looking up for the high seas after last week’s deliberations at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the United Nations General Assembly Sam Kahamba Kutesa convened a meeting with States Members of the United Nations, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for four days of negotiations concerning the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The meeting concluded early Saturday morning with a formal recommendation for the UN General Assembly to develop a legally binding agreement to protect ocean life in the high seas. The high seas make up approximately 64% of the global ocean (nearly half of Earth’s surface) – a huge patchwork of regions lying outside of any country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).…
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Bring Balance to the Bering Sea

By Jackie Dragon (Originally published January 16, 2015 on Greenpeaceblogs.org) This week in Seattle billboards and posters are popping up with a message for companies that profit from the sale of our ocean wildlife. Greenpeace, Mission Blue, and Marine Conservation Institute — three organizations committed to protecting important ocean places — have joined up to tell supermarkets that we need their help to protect special ocean places, like America’s Grand Canyons in the Sea. An American gem is hidden from sight beneath the chilly waters of Alaska in the Bering Sea. Zhemchug and Pribilof canyons — designated a Hope Spot by “Her Deepness,” Dr. Sylvia Earle in 2013 — are the world’s largest underwater canyons, both more massive than the Grand Canyon.…
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BREAKING: Dr. Sylvia Earle Boldly Addresses the UN To Urge Legal Protection for High Seas

Dr. Sylvia Earle addressed the United Nations Tuesday afternoon, urging the body to take action and implement an agreement that would bring law and order to the High Seas — an area half the size of our planet that is currently plundered and polluted with abandon. Read Dr. Sylvie Earle’s bold remarks below. She’s right: the ten year olds are watching! Thank you,  Co-Chairs, for the privilege of speaking officially on behalf of Mission Blue, and unofficially, for those who cannot speak for themselves – the children of today and for  all of those in the future – our descendants who will from their place in the future either applaud or condemn our actions – or lack of actions – concerning establishing governance – a strong and meaningful implementing agreement under UNCLOS for biodiversity of half the world, the high seas – the ocean beyond national jurisdiction. …
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Biotherm to Help Restore Coral Lagoon in French Polynesia

In Paris on Monday, French luxury skincare company Biotherm held a joint press conference with Mission Blue to announce that part of proceeds from three products of its Aquasource range (Aquasource Gel, Aquasource Crème and Aquasource Crème Riche) would support the Tetiaroa Society and CRIOBE (The Insular Research Center and Environment Observatory of French Polynesia) to research and replenish fish and crustacean stocks in the lagoon of Tetiaroa – an exquisite coral atoll located 33 miles north of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Tetiaroa provides vital sea turtle nesting habitat Stan Rowland, chairman of Tetiaroa Society, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Biotherm and Mission Blue in a collaborative effort to protect our oceans and marine environments. This funding from Biotherm will support an important effort to demonstrate an economic and environmentally sustainable method of replenishing marine life in coral lagoons.…
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South Africans Unite Around Hope Spots

While 12 percent of the land on Earth is protected, less than 3% of the ocean has meaningful protection from fishing, pollution and resource extraction. Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of global initiative Mission Blue, visited South Africa last month in a whirlwind tour of that ravishing marine environment to help generate community support for more ocean protection. And what a success it was. In partnership with the Sustainable Seas Trust, Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue team visited six different communities along the South African coast and engaged local ocean lovers, community leaders and citizens to declare their waters a Hope Spot, special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Local Community Engagement around the Algoa Bay Hope Spot And what began as an idea of conservation, was quickly embraced by the communities.…
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Pope to Urge Action on Climate Change

The words Pope and Catholic Church may not often occur in the same sentence as climate change, but that is all about to change. This year is set to be a major milestone in humanity’s acceptance of our impacts on global warming as Pope Francis embarks on a mission to protect the planet. Pope Francis has already stated that the greatest “sin” is destroying God’s Creation, and humanity’s contributions to climate change are doing just that.[i] Early last year, Pope Francis told a crowd in Rome, “if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!” According to the Associated Press and The Guardian, these statements may soon grow into an official Church document called an “encyclical,” instructing the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to acknowledge human-caused climate change and act to fight it because doing so is essential to their faith.[ii] Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square © Alfredo Borba The imminent release of this decree is preceded by a five-day summit at the Vatican in May 2014 during which scientists, economists, philosophers, astronomers and other experts assembled to discuss ways for the Catholic Church to address climate change and sustainability.[i] Titled “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility,” this joint workshop was held by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.…
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Central American Dome – Playa Grande, Costa Rica Expedition

In January 2014, MarViva and Mission Blue launched a film expedition with Dr. Sylvia Earle to highlight our Central American Dome Hope Spot.  Partners supporting the expedition were LightHawk, The Baum Foundation, Bula Bula and National Geographic. The ecological and commercial value of the Dome’s resources were documented to raise awareness and support for the protection of its species and habitats. The film below, produced by Mission Blue and MarViva, takes viewers on a journey to learn about the Central American Dome (CAD) and why sustainable management of this High Seas Hope Spot is so important for the region:In 2013, Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue declared The Central American Dome a “Hope Spot,” designating it as a special area critical to the health of the ocean.…
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Oil Spill in Bangladesh! (Why Do Mangroves Matter?)

by Brett Garling A month ago, an oil tanker spilled hundreds of thousands of liters of oil into the largest mangrove forest in the world, called The Sundarbans. This immense brackish estuary on the border of India and Bangladesh is also a bengal tiger sanctuary and home to countless other flora and fauna. While the story hasn’t gotten much media attention, what coverage it did receive focused more on the area’s status as an endangered dolphin sanctuary. (Yes unfortunately it’s one of those, too. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.) However, a disaster like this should also alarm us with regards to climate change: healthy mangroves play a crucial role in the delicate dance of carbon into and out of our atmosphere.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle