Blog Archives

NGOs Unite to Save Sea Turtles From Shrimp Boats

Mission Blue is proud to stand with Oceana and 81 other NGO’s in support of using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on Southeastern shrimp boats to protect sea turtles from by catch. On February 14, 2017, the letter below was sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service urging support and passage of this important regulation. © EUO OCEANA, Juan Cuetos On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members, we write in strong support of the proposed rule to require all currently exempted Southeastern shrimp boats using skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls and wing net (butterfly) trawls to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). The use of narrow-spaced TEDs in the exempted vessels will not only save up to 2,500 sea turtles each year, but will also benefit the environment, local tourism, the commercial shrimp industry, and commercial and recreational fishing enterprises targeting other species.…
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Saving Canada’s Sea of Glass: Conservation Groups Welcome Canada’s Newest MPA

Congratulations to the Canadian government for protecting the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reef Hope Spot! We are thrilled to see this new Hope Spot achieve marine protected area status which is home to ancient, unique and important glass sponge reefs, found nowhere else in the world. Our partners at CPAWS have been working to protect these reefs for more than 16 years, learn more about this major victory in the press release below.  Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Press Release   (c) Sally LeysVancouver B.C., 16th February 2017 – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is celebrating a new marine protected area for Canada’s ancient and unique glass sponge reefs, which CPAWS has been working to protect for over 16 years.…
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Viaje al Mar: Las Tortugas Unen el Punto de Esperanza de Choroni + Chuao

Spanish translation of Journey to the Sea: Turtles Unite the Choroni + Chuao Hope Spot  Traducido Por: Marco Caputo Febrero marca el comienzo de la temporada de anidación de tortugas marinas en la costa venezolana. Cualquiera que haya sido testigo de tortuguillos marinos encontrando su camino hacia el océano, sabe que estas pequeñas criaturas marinas enfrentan un enorme desafío. No sólo tienen que atravesar varios metros de arena para llegar al mar sin ninguna interferencia, una vez que están en el océano, se encuentran con el riesgo de la contaminación, enredarse en artes de pesca, las lesiones de las hélices del barco, además de los depredadores naturales. Las tortugas marinas pueden haber existido desde la época de los dinosaurios (!110 millones de años atrás!), Pero su población está en grave declive.…
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Unforgettable Cabo Pulmo

By: Shilpi Chhotray What happens when fishers give up their fishing poles in the name of conservation? An iconic example is the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park- 17,570 acres of protected water in Baja Mexico’s East Cape. I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Cabo Pulmo last December after hearing so much about local fishers collaborating with biologists, conservationists, government staff and divers from around the world to create a no-take marine reserve, providing us hope for life in the sea. There’s a reason Dr. Sylvia Earle holds up Cabo Pulmo as a model to the world: “I love how this community celebrates the living value of the creatures that occupy the ocean in your neighborhood. It’s a matter of respecting them as neighbors.…
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Manta Rays and Microplastics

Understanding the Beauty and Vulnerability of Giant Mantas of the Revillagigedo Archipelago By Courtney Mattison For those who have spent time underwater with giant manta rays, the experience they recall sounds dreamlike and meditative. The Mission Blue expedition team felt this phenomenon firsthand at the Revillagigedo Archipelago, an open ocean oasis for giants of the sea. “The mantas are like sirens tempting you to go deeper and deeper following their seductive ocean acrobatics,” remarked Shari Sant Plummer after a day of diving with them at Roca Partida, the smallest of these four volcanic islands. She continued: The mantas here seem to love divers! They want your attention and if you stop paying attention to them, they will remind you… They’re like my dog that comes and nudges my arm when I’m on the computer so that I’ll come play with him.…
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Underwater in the Galápagos: A Lesson in Human Connection

By: Danielle Epifani, Mission Blue Communications Assistant  After months of reporting imagery and articles of undersea life, I had the unique opportunity to join a seven day liveaboard with the Aggressor III, as a Mission Blue Hope Spot reporter. Throughout my childhood, I alternated between swimming in the ocean of Southern California, my neighbor’s pool, and the crystal clear lagoons and reef passes of my ancestral islands, in French Polynesia. I thought I had experienced the sea: it’s wonder, beauty, and the urgent need for marine protection. Learning to scuba dive in one of the world’s legendary dive sites had not quite registered with me. However, the unfathomable statistic that the ocean has lost 90 percent of its big fish, ignited a sense of urgency.…
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Tailing Sharks in the Revillagigedo Archipelago

Shark Tagging and Conservation in the Revillagigedo Archipelago by Courtney Mattison In the radiant blue of the Revillagigedo Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, about 250 nautical miles south of Cabo San Lucas, sharks rule. From its depths, Galápagos, hammerhead and silvertip sharks find all they need to thrive. White tips and silkies abound. Even the elusive whale shark, its enormous body weightless and almost invisible in the deep blue, frequents these waters. Humans are merely guests, and earlier this month, the Mission Blue expedition team paid a visit. DCIM100MEDIADJI_0002.JPG Sharks and rays throughout the Mexican Pacific and Gulf of California are threatened by commercial fishing operations, some which catch tuna and trap sharks as bycatch while others target sharks outright. Last year, the Mission Blue expedition team discovered tons of dead sharks on the beach of Bahia Los Frailes in Cabo Pulmo Marine Park in the Gulf of California Hope Spot, only 250 nautical miles from the Revillagigedo Archipelago Biosphere Reserve.…
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Canada: Please Improve the Proposed Protection Measures for the Scott Islands Hope Spot!

Find below a letter from Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, and Dr. Dan Laffoley, Chair of the Mission Blue Hope Spot Council, to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Canada urging improvement in the protection of the Scott Islands Hope Spot. Want to add your voice? Hon. Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada cc: Caroline Ladanowski, Director, Wildlife Management and Regulatory Affairs Division, Canadian Wildlife Service By Email Dear Minister McKenna, Mission Blue congratulates the Canadian Government’s efforts to protect the ecologically significant marine area surrounding the Scott Islands. However, we encourage the Government of Canada to improve the proposed protection measures for the Scott Islands marine National Wildlife Area, for both the seabirds and for the other marine species that inhabit the waters in this ecosystem.…
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Since When Did We Become A Plastic Society?

Last week I attended the screening of A Plastic Ocean hosted by Plastic Pollution Coalition, Algalita Marine Research and Education, 5 Gyres, Team Marine, Ed Begley Jr., and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). Thanks for a great event! By: Shilpi Chhotray © 5 Gyres Since when did we become a plastic society? The documentary A Plastic Ocean seeks answers as two fascinating ocean explorers embark on a four year journey to understand the depth and damage of plastic waste in our ocean. Director Craig Leeson and free-diver Tanya Streeter meet with renowned scientists and researchers to witness and communicate the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution to the world. The results are not pretty, nor did I expect them to be given the major implications for all life on earth- from microscopic plankton to giant whales and sea birds, and even human beings. …
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Expedition Update: Fresh Off The Water from the Revillagigedo Archipelago

The Mission Blue expedition team — comprised of Kip Evans, Brett Garling, Courtney Mattison and Shari Sant Plummer — just got off the water from the Revillagigedo Archipelago 300 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, and we have some amazing stories to share with you! Last week we joined forces with our partners Fins Attached, Pelagios Kakunjá and FUSION Media to explore below the surface of this incredible open ocean oasis, which frequent visitors fondly refer to as “Revi” and Mexico’s “little Galápagos.” The Expedition Team congregates for a final farewell photo! It was a privilege to collaborate with the passionate teams from Fins Attached, Pelagios Kakunjá and FUSION Media. The science team, led by Dr. James Ketchum of Pelagios Kakunjá, deployed nine acoustic tags on silky, whitetip and silvertip sharks that will provide invaluable data to researchers on the migration, feeding and reproduction behaviors of key shark species in the Revillagigedo Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and across the Mexican Pacific.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle