April 12, 2017

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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. Your support of Pelagios Kakunjá directly funds science that is promoting shark conservation and advocating for marine protected areas. Ever dollar donated to this campaign will be given to them with no restrictions.

Please consider making a donation by clicking here. Learn more about their exciting work below!

A Pelagios Kakunja scientist dives with a manta on the way to replace an acoustic shark receiver. 2017 (c) Kip Evans Mission Blue

Pelagios Kakunjá is tracking shark and other pelagic migration patterns, understanding the location of critical habitats and petitioning governments to protect these areas. The goal is to promote a resurgence of these important species in ecosystems where they have been fished down to under 10% of historical population levels. By tracking inter-island movements of species like hammerhead sharks and monitoring the seasonal connectivity of marine protected areas (MPA), Pelagios is building a book of data that can help policy makers decide where to make new no-take zones.

Will you join us in celebrating their work to research some of the most beloved and critically ecologically-important species of the ocean? Click here to make a donation.

Proposed expansion of the Revillagigedo No-Take zone based on shark and manta movements (2015). Data collected by Pelagios Kakunjá.

The Revillagigedo Archipelago— an oasis in the eastern Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California— is used as a stopover point for migrating giant whales, turtles, sharks, and manta rays. Our team had the honor of documenting Pelagios Kakunjá work in the region, while interacting with several shark species and some of the largest manta rays on Earth. It’s no wonder, the area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site less than one year ago.

Pelagios Kakunjá’s data are being used to motivate policymakers to expand protections for sharks throughout the region, which is increasingly important to end shark finning. To date, they have marked 110 individuals from 8 different species. The team has 14 acoustic stations in the 4 islands of the Archipelago and their goal is to place at least 35 for maximum coverage making a global impact on shark conservation. 

Shark movement and connectivity in the Eastern tropical Pacific. Data collected by Pelagios Kakunjá.

Science matters! The ocean can use more results-driven conservation policy and we applaud Pelagios Kakunjá for their game-changing work in Mexico. Studying marine predator biological hot spots at seamounts and oceanic islands are paving the way for a bluer future. 

The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to appreciate and engage with science, while keeping communication channels open with a diversity of stakeholders. By conducting expeditions to Hope Spots like the Revillagigedo Archipelao—special places that are vital to the health of the ocean—and documenting what we find, we aim to support scientific data to generate information for regional management and conservation strategies.

Shark Still2

A group of Hammerhead sharks at the Revillagigedo Archipelago in January 2017 (c) Kip Evans Mission Blue

 

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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle