Monthly Archives: April 2017

Protecting the Coral Triangle with Mission Blue

PADI is encouraging all divers to actively participate in the protection of the Coral Triangle Hope Spot- a prime global center for marine biological diversity. By: Emily Bates, PADI For divers, the fact that the Coral Triangle holds 75% of the world’s coral species should be enough to fall absolutely in love with this ‘Amazon of the Seas’. And when we say that nearly 90% of those reefs are threatened, we should have your full attention. Mission Blue is calling for all hands on deck with conservation efforts towards the Coral Triangle, a region consisting of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. This precious region faces warming seas, coral bleaching, destructive fishing, pollution, and coastal development that have caused 90% of the reefs to be considered ‘threatened’. …
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Diving for Coral Conservation: Chichiriviche Hope Spot

To view the article in Spanish, click here.  By: Shilpi Chhotray, Communications Strategist  The town of Chichiriviche de la Costa is a small gem on the Venezuelan coastline, set in a tranquil bay where a freshwater river runs through the mountains and empties into the sea. The locals live in the hills just above the beach, consisting of a few hundred people whose income is derived from fishing and local tourism opportunities. Coral reefs live on both sides of the bay, accompanied by a wide diversity of marine life. A variety of medusa and sea sponges frequently attract Hawksbill sea turtles which are commonly found feeding on the beach. Upwellings occur twice a year, providing important phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms which entice various species of sardines and herring.…
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World Heritage Marine Sites & Our Fight for Healthy Oceans

We are proud to partner with Kristin Hetterman! Kristin was on board the National Geographic Endeavor in the Galápagos Islands for the Third World Heritage Marine Managers Conference, held August 27-31, 2016.  By: Kristin Hettermann Since the first marine site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, 49 sites in 37 countries stretching from the tropics to the poles have received this prestigious designation as an irreplaceable wonder of the world’s oceans. Yet these unique places are facing unprecedented challenges and change. Right now, more than 15 World Heritage marine sites are suffering from serious coral bleaching and a third of all World Heritage marine sites are still unsustainably or illegally fished. From August 27-31, the guardians of the 49 World Heritage marine sites gathered from around the world in the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavor for UNESCO’s Third World Heritage Marine Managers Conference, looking to share resources and find smart solutions.…
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House Introduces Legislation to End Shark Finning

The demand for shark fins is still one of the greatest threats facing shark populations around the world, usually intended as an ingredient in shark fin soup. Fins from as many as 73 million sharks end up in the global market every year, and more than 70 percent of the most common shark species involved with the fin trade are considered at high or very high risk of extinction. Sharks declines and extinction can have significant impacts on marine ecosystems. Many species of sharks are top predators and have the potential to structure ecosystems in crucial ways, triggering domino effects through the food chain. On September 22nd, 2016, Mission Blue alongside 80 other NGO’s sent this letter to Congress urging support and passage of the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act.…
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Raising Havaiki From the Sea: Hōkūle’a in Tahiti

By: Danielle Epifani In 1976 Hōkūle’a arrived on the shores of Tahiti having raised Havaiki from the sea. Known as the dwelling place of the ancestors, Tahiti is considered the departure point for the historic migrations that would colonize the largest expanse of ocean on earth- the Polynesian Triangle. Through the re-creation of a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe, Pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson would become the next to inherit, and carry the legacy of celestial wayfinding into the future. The arrival of Hōkūle’a in Tahiti had been a dormant journey of 600 hundred years. It united the people of the South Pacific, awakening in them a sense of identity and pride for which their forefathers accomplished one of the greatest feats in human history.…
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For Earth Day, We Say: Science Matters!

We stand behind the massive #MarchForScience that is convening in Washington DC this Earth Day! Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate science and the integral role it plays in ocean conservation! Scientific research gives us deeper insights into the world and the blue heart of our planet — and points the direction for saving it. Global problems necessitate hard science to fuel conservation, comprehensive management, and decision-making for the long term benefit of humans and animals. Don’t you agree? ​At Mission Blue, we are proud to partner with Pelagios Kakunjá. This team of dedicated scientists is the real deal, doing the hard work on the front lines to build the scientific case for further ocean protection. Their telemetry data of migrating populations of sharks and manta rays was instrumental in the Mexican government’s decision to permanently expand a no-take MPA at the Revillagigedo Archipelago from 9.5 miles to 12 miles.…
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Costa Rica Thermal Dome Expedition: Scientific Research on the High Seas

Mission Blue just returned from an adventurous outing to the Costa Rican Thermal Dome, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, where we documented scientific research in the service of conservation. The Mission Blue team worked in the water and on board the two expedition vessels to document science such as the tagging and release of sharks and turtles. The trip was spearheaded by our outstanding partners at MarViva, a regional non-profit that is actively documenting biodiversity and human uses in the Dome and making the case for a regional management scheme for the Dome. Their work is a guiding light for marine conservation in the region and this expedition helped bolster their case for greater conservation of the Dome. In short, MarViva is putting the “Hope” in this “Hope Spot”.…
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California’s Love Affair with the Sea

David Helvarg’s book, The Golden Shore – California’s Love Affair with the Sea has received critical acclaim from marine enthusiasts including Dr. Sylvia Earle who calls it  “a thrilling read.”  In Chapter 3 titled “Ghost Forests,” he reports on the creation of a network of Marine Protected Areas (or Hope Spots) and other reserves that now cover 16 percent of California’s waters.  These include some of the seas off Catalina Island described in the excerpt below. By: David Helvarg We’re diving along open sandy bottom when suddenly a six-hundred-pound sea lion streaks past us on the hunt like some sleek, flexible torpedo.  Sometimes they’ll check you out and want to play with the slow, awkward bubble breathers but not this one.  …
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7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know

By: Megan Denny Assembling a list of the most important women in scuba diving history is no easy task. We began with dozens of women, but ultimately narrowed it down to the seven amazing divers below. We hope this list is merely a starting place that inspires you to learn more about women’s contributions to scuba diving. Photo: Dr. Sylvia Earle Dottie Frazier Our list begins with Dottie Frazier, a woman who can claim many “firsts” in scuba. She is widely recognized as the first female scuba instructor, the first female dive shop owner, and the first female hard-hat diver. Dottie Frazier also produced wetsuits and drysuits for the Navy, as well as recreational divers, and is one of scuba’s living legends.…
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Vatika Bay Hope Spot: Submerged Ancient Grecian City Abuts Marine Abundance

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist Vatika Bay and the Myrtoon Sea in Greece may boast clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and iconic mountainous ridges, but what makes the Hope Spot truly special is intersection of nature and culture. Iconic species including whales and dolphins, loggerhead turtles, monk seals, and fan clams swim near a spectacular underwater archeological site called Pavlopetri. Located in the western part of Vatika Bay, Pavlopetri thrived in 3,500 BCE which makes it about 5,000 years old and one of the oldest submerged lost cities in the world! The Early Bronze Age port city is found under two to three meters of water, making it easily accessible to snorkelers. However, due to large commercial oil tankers and cargo ships anchoring in Vatika Bay and polluting its waters, Pavlopetri has been identified as a cultural heritage site at risk on the World Monuments Fund 2016-2018 World Monuments Watch Site. …
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle