Blog Archives

Hope Spot on the Brink of Irrevocable Change

Our partner Henley Spiers reflects on his recent trip to the George Town Harbour Hope Spot! By: Henley Spiers A Queen Angelfish hides out in the wreck of the Balboa. (c) Henley Spiers I recently returned from Grand Cayman, home of the George Town Harbour Hope Spot and a place which has long been on my diving bucket list. For tourists, these islands are a stress-free haven of sunny white sand beaches and clear blue waters. Beneath the surface, however, a war is being waged over the future of this tropical paradise. George Town Harbour may be home to some of the most famous and accessible reefs around the island, but a project to build a new cruise ship pier threatens to decimate this underwater ecosystem.…
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Dr. Sylvia Earle: Can Marine Migratory Species Thrive in the Face of Consumption?

We are proud to collaborate with James Ketchum, shark expert at UC Davis and core member of the MigraMar network. MigraMar is committed to conducting scientific research to better understand and safeguard healthy populations of marine migratory species in the Eastern Pacific. For the past decade, James has studied shark ecology in the Gulf of California and shark movement patterns in Malpelo Island in Colombia and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. He is hopeful that his work will provide answers to where, why, and how sharks move and develop an alternative method for marine conservation with application to other regions and environments. Learn more about the important work of MigraMar from Dr. Sylvia Earle below! By: Dr. Sylvia Earle  © MigraMar Our Earth is defined by an ocean that was once considered unfathomable in its depths and diversity.…
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3 Million Tons of Cosmetics in the Ocean? The Mayan Riviera Hope Spot Dives into Action

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist What used to be small fishing villages and an undeveloped coastline, the Mayan Riviera boasts stunning beaches, a diverse portfolio of dive sites for scuba divers, and high-end luxury resorts. The Mayan Riviera is part of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR), which contains the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching nearly 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula down through the Honduran Bay Islands. Located in the north of the MAR are the coasts of Quintana Roo, which includes popular island destinations like Cozumel and the Banco Chinchorro atoll. The Yucatán Peninsula alone draws in adventure goers from around the world for cave diving in the many cenotes or sinkholes that are unique to this part of the coast (6,000!).  …
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Patagonia’s Wild Depths

Vreni Häusserman- 2016 Rolex Award recipient is a German biologist exploring marine life in the Patagonian fjords, located in the south of Chile.  © Vreni Häusserman Vreni Häussermann remembers the exact moment she fell in love with the deserted southern fjords of Chilean Patagonia that she now strives to protect. On a research trip in 1997, she and her research partner and later husband, Günter Försterra, happened upon an unusual landscape of stormy seas and snow-capped mountains. For Häussermann, “it was absolutely obvious that this was the most exciting place in the country to study.” Not everyone would share her eagerness. Chilean Patagonia is challenging terrain to explore: the maze of fjords, channels and islands (the coast stretches 90,000 km, though the distance from north to south as the crow flies is just 1,500 km) is home to tempestuous winds and intense storms.…
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Experience the Underwater World with Scubashooters

We are proud to partner with Scubashooters! By: Marino Palla, Scubashooters Underwater photographers are passionate lovers of the sea. They have the power to capture moments and in the process create change. This in turn gives them the ability to raise awareness, showcase the beauty, document the health and well-being of our ocean environment.  Many have the skill, desire and talent to capture creative, inspiring and thought-provoking imagery.  Many will go to great lengths, travel to remote locations and spend a great deal of their time and income pursuing their passion.   Our seas are in big danger and the survival of many marine species are in jeopardy. Much of this can be attributed to unsustainable fishing practices. Years ago many countries had fish free diets.…
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Saving the Ocean’s Gentle Giants

We are proud to partner with Kerstin Forsberg- 2016 Rolex Award Recipient!  @ Getty Images, Martin StrmiskaWith their seven-metre wingspans, giant manta rays are a captivating sight as they glide through the water. “They are just majestic,” says Lima-based conservation biologist Kerstin Forsberg of the iconic species she became determined to protect after discovering the extent of their vulnerability.   The tropical marine ecosystems in northern Peru support the country’s greatest marine biodiversity, giving life to more than 500 marine species. Taking advantage of the nutrient-rich waters is one of the world’s largest regional populations of giant mantas (Manta birostris), estimated to number over 650.   Giant mantas, which are plankton filterers, are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an “elevated risk of extinction”.…
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Citizen Science Supports Protection in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist  Citizen Science Supports Protection in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot “The citizen scientists in the Moreton Bay Hope Spot are living proof that the ocean is a big blue magnet that unites people who care. Their important work is benefitting the human and aquatic inhabitants of greater Brisbane by making a strong case for continued protection of this Hope Spot. Thank you to the citizens of Moreton Bay for collaborating and contributing data in the effort to protect and restore the blue heart of the planet. You are great cause for hope!” – Dr. Sylvia Earle The Moreton Bay community is a model example of how robust citizen science programs help ignite support and ongoing passion for marine protected areas.…
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The Marvels of the Underwater World in South Africa

Mission Blue is proud to partner with Geo Cloete! By: Geo Cloete, Artist The ocean already beckoned me to spend my life with it long before I saw it for the first time. I was born miles away from the nearest coast. Yet deep in inside me, I knew that my life’s calling was linked to the ocean, and so I followed the long and winding road to where it meets the blue yonder. (c) Geo Cloete I remember the day I arrived at the ocean crystal clear; paddling out, the sense of having arrived at home, was overwhelming. And when the ocean wrapped its arms around me, with a perfect wave, I knew that I was not only home… but I had also been warmly received.…
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A Hope For The Sea Around Cyprus

Mission Blue is proud to partner with SeaCyprus! By: Andreas Christofi There are several problems impinging on the marine environment of Cyprus. Some of which truly destroy the marine life of the island. The major challenges the island deals with are the unregulated fishing activities, lack of awareness and near zero monitoring of the crucial marine habitats and species. Furthermore, while most European countries prohibit the activity of bottom trawling, in Cyprus, this activity is allowed within the territorial waters of the island. In order to put an end to these activities that will eventually lead to a massive catastrophe of the island’s marine environment, SeaCyprus has decided to take responsibility and take immediate action. SeaCyprus’s aim is to monitor and protect the endangered marine species and habitats and to further understand their distribution and location around the island.…
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Pressure Mounts to Save the Cayman Islands Hope Spot

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist  For the residents of George Town Harbour, observing mammoth cruise ships pass through their glimmering turquoise backyard is not uncommon. From 2000, the small island nation of Grand Cayman has received an influx of tourists from the cruise industry, with a around one million visitors entering the island yearly. By 2015, this number increased to 1.7 million and residents anticipate upwards of 2 million visitors in the coming year. Recently, the greater George Town Harbour area was selected as one of 14 new Hope Spots around the globe. Mission Blue’s Founder, legendary Oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle visited the Cayman Islands to see the Hope Spot first-hand. In a recent press release, Dr. Earle stated: “May the George Town Harbour Hope Spot serve as an example to the world, encouraging people to take responsibility and ownership of their environment.…
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"With knowing comes caring." - Dr. Sylvia Earle