Monthly Archives: June 2015

Protect the Reef, Protect Ourselves

By Courtney Mattison I was certain that the photos of magenta, green and golden corals, crinoids, anemones and fish in the dive boat brochures had been enhanced. No actual coral reefs looked that exquisite in real life, did they? I prepped my camera and donned my dive gear. As my dive buddy and I landed in the water and sank deep below the surface, the brilliant world below came into view. Jacques Cousteau’s words echoed in my ears: “Through the window of my mask I see a wall of coral, its surface a living kaleidoscope of lilac flecks, splashes of gold, reddish streaks and yellows, all tinged by the familiar transparent blue of the sea.” If anything, those dazzling brochure photos failed to capture the energy and diversity of life on the actual Great Barrier Reef – truly one of the living wonders of the world.…
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A Pit Full of Pitiful Pangolins

It was my first trip to Sumatra. I received a call from a friend on Saturday, April 25th, that there had been a large pangolin-related seizure and that there would be a good chance for me to do some research. So I set all previous obligations aside and hopped onto a plane. By Monday, I was able to attend an unusual press conference held at the scene of the crime. Caged pangolin. © Sharon Kwok The storage facility was an existing seafood warehouse in Medan that looked to be about 15,000 sq ft. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a few people who were with Wildlife Conservation Society’s Wildlife Crime Unit. I noticed much press milling about and quite a few officials in police or forestry department uniforms.…
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Protecting Sharks and Marine Ecosystems

From our new partners at Shark Team One: Shark Team One is proud to partner with Mission Blue! For millions of years sharks have inhabited our planet’s oceans. However today, due to factors such as overfishing, finning, bycatch in commercial fisheries and habitat loss over a third of all shark, skate and ray species are threatened with extinction. In response to the rapid decline of elasmobranchs around the world, Shark Team One has mobilized to create a team of scientists, conservationists, divers, filmmakers, photographers, partner organizations, ocean ambassadors and concerned citizens who are fighting to help save sharks and our oceans. Headquartered in South Florida, Shark Team One brings shark conservation awareness to local, national and global stakeholders, schools, colleges and government institutions via conservation initiatives, partner programs, educational seminars and outreach events.…
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Join Sylvia Earle 1,000 ft deep on World Oceans Day

What’s it like to be with Sylvia Earle at the bottom of the sea? Find out in Beyond Blue, a new short film created by Kip Evans, Mission Blue’s director of expeditions and photography. National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle, called a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine and 2014 Woman of the Year by Glamour, spoke with Evans in this exclusive interview 1,000 feet below the waves at Cocos Island, Costa Rica – a Mission Blue Hope Spot – in Undersea Hunter’s DeepSee submersible during Mission Blue’s recent expedition to the island in partnership with Fusion. Watch it here: Mission Blue: Beyond Blue from Kip Evans on Vimeo.…
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Explore Life Beneath the Waves

Covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean remains one of the most uncharted and undiscovered ecosystems on the planet. Home to the majority of life on Earth, the ocean acts as its life support system, controlling everything from our weather and rainfall to the oxygen we breathe. Yet despite the ocean’s vital importance, the ocean is changing at a rapid rate due to climate change, pollution, and overfishing, making it one of the most serious environmental issues we face today. Google is committed to exploring and preserving the ocean. Today, in time for World Oceans Day on June 8, and in partnership with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Chagos Conservation Trust, you can explore brand new Street View imagery of more than 40 locations around the world, including the American Samoa and Chagos Islands and underwater dives in Bali, the Bahamas and the Great Barrier Reef.…
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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, the public is nowadays more aware of their value to sustain life in the oceans and is more proactive in asking governments for their protection. Costa Rica has recently promoted several initiatives oriented towards managing sharks responsibly. In 2013, the government passed a decree banning shark finning and emphasizing existing restrictions. Also in 2013, the government joined efforts with Brazil and Honduras and spearheaded the advocacy for the inclusion of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle