Thursday, 31 October 2013

Crowdsourcing Seahorses: New smartphone app offers hope for seahorse science and conservation

Marine conservationists from the University of British Columbia, Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago have launched a smartphone app that could lead to new discoveries about some of the ocean’s most mysterious and threatened animals — seahorses — and pave the way for similar efforts with other difficult-to-study species. With iSeahorse Explore, anyone, anywhere in the world can become a citizen scientist and contribute to marine conservation with a few taps of their phone. The iPhone app is designed for people to quickly log seahorse sightings whenever they encounter an animal in the wild.

IMPAC 3 legacy: Be 'appy for the High Seas and stay informed!

Launched at IMPAC3, the Third International Marine Protected Areas Conference, the Sargasso Sea Alliance app Conserving the Sargasso Sea is now available on Android and iPhone, iPads and tablet devices. Conserving the Sargasso Sea is the first-ever app developed for a proposal to protect a high seas marine area. Special thanks to Andy Jeffrey and Dan Laffoley for the development of the apps.
For Android click here
For iPhone click here  

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

IMPAC 3: Ajaccio Ministerial Statement

Ministers from 19 countries signed the statement calling for establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in national and international waters on Saturday, at the conclusion of the Ministerial Conference for Ocean Conservation in Ajaccio, Corsica.

MPAs, they said, ‘play a crucial role in protecting marine biodiversity whose long-term survival is vital for sustainable development and the future of mankind’

Read the best posts at IUCN on IMPAC 3

The 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress, IMPAC3, gathered over 1,200 marine specialists from around the world to propose solutions for the conservation and sustainable development of our oceans. See how IUCN covered this world class event and read some great blog posts from the IUCN team - read more

X PRIZE commits to three new ocean prizes by 2020

Multi-Year Effort Marks XPRIZE’s Most Ambitious Commitment to Date; Launches Ocean Ambassador Program for Public Input

NEW YORK (October 22, 2013) – XPRIZE (, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today announced its largest commitment to date – a multi-year effort to launch three additional ocean XPRIZEs by 2020, as part of the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative. To accompany the Initiative, XPRIZE is launching an Ocean Ambassador program to give the public a unique insider’s view into the XPRIZE process – from prize design to award - and to crowd source the Grand Challenges that will be tackled with these next three ocean XPRIZEs.

Ajaccio Ministerial meeting: WCPA Marine Vice Chair's report back statement

IMPAC 3: Ajaccio Ministerial meeting

The following five minute statement was delivered to the Ministerial meeting conference for ocean conservation  by WCPA Marine Vice Chair Dan Laffoley:

Excellences, Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

It is a pleasure and privilege to report back from IMAC 3 on Ocean Protection: MPAs delivering benefits for humans and marine life

Report on marine 'gaps' in World Heritage launched

A new IUCN report identifying gaps in marine World Heritage was launched at the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC). The study provides a road map to ensure the World Heritage Convention reflects the diversity of marine ecosystems in future nominations.

The World Heritage List includes a relatively small number of sites explicitly recognized for their outstanding universal marine values. Today, it counts 46 marine sites spanning across 35 countries.

This represents about 20% of the natural World Heritage and less than 5% of the total World Heritage. Yet oceans and seas make up over 70% of Earth’s surface and 95% of its habitable space.

IMPAC 3: A message from the young marine conservation professionals

A new light of sunshine radiated the recent International Marine Protected Areas Congress through a broader and more meaningful participation of young people concerned and engaged in marine conservation.

For the first time at an IMPAC  event a group of passionate youth and young professionals from different countries got together at IMPAC 3 to express their view and highlight their priorities about the future of marine conservation. The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas’ (WCPA) Young Professionals Specialist Group organised this extraordinary gathering recognising and facilitating the dynamic synergies that occur when networks of inspired young people work together with each other for social transformation and effective protection and management of the marine environment.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

IUCN's WCPA SSC Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force launched

IMPAC 3, Marseille, France

The creation of the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Area Task Force (MMPATF) was formally announced on 24 October 2013 by Dan Laffoley, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara on behalf of the Species Survival Commission (SSC), and Naomi McIntosh, International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA). The MMPATF objectives and further activities were described by the Task Force co-chairs, Erich Hoyt and Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara.

Following two global conferences (Hawaii, 2009; and Martinique, 2011) hosted by the ICMMPA, the Task Force was developed through the WCPA, the SSC and the ICMMPA to give a stronger voice to marine mammal needs within IUCN and to serve the larger marine mammal protected area community of practice.

Ajaccio Ministerial Message for the Conservation of the High Seas

Published on Saturday, 26 October 2013 20:03

© Agn├Ęs Poiret / AAMP

Immediately after 5 days of debates in Marseille, Mr. Philippe Martin, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, gathered in Ajaccio 19 ministers of nations representing the world's oceans.

This Ministerial Conference, held in the presence of numerous representatives of governments, international institutions and NGOs, was structured around three roundtables, on the following subjects: the benefits and

Thursday, 24 October 2013

World nearing 3% of ocean protection - The Official MPA Map is launched!

Marseille, France, 24 October 2013 – Marine protected areas now cover 2.8% of the global ocean – an area larger than Europe – according to the official map released today based on data provided by the World Database on Protected Areas, run by IUCN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The map shows an increase of 0.6% in the ocean area protected since 2012. In 2010, most of the world governments agreed to protect at least 10% of the world’s marine and coastal zones by 2020. View at

“It’s encouraging to see the progress we’ve made so far,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. “Protecting less than 3% of the ocean is still not enough to ensure its

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Researchers find ocean plankton species are not adapting to climate change – and could disappear altogether

Research led by scientists from Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science and College of Science, in collaboration with Deakin University in Warrnambool, Australia and the Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth, has found cold water ocean plankton are not adapting to climate change, will continue to become scarcer, and could ultimately disappear.

The team’s work, which has been supported through funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is published by leading international journal Global Change Biology in a paper entitled ‘Multi-decadal range changes versus thermal adaptation for north east Atlantic oceanic copepods in the face of climate change’.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

IMPAC 3: 50 Hope Spots launched

October 22, 2013 - Exciting news has come out of the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3): Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue and IUCN have launched 31 new Mission Blue Hope Spots -- places of special significance in the ocean where Mission Blue will focus its efforts. There are now 50 Hope Spots globally -- a path forward for protecting our Blue Heart.

Get the full story on the National Geographic blog and click here for the global map.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Countdown to IMPAC 3: hope for the ocean

Discover new hope for the ocean with Sylvia Earle at IMPAC 3

Friday, 18 October 2013

Countdown to IMPAC 3: what you need to know

IMPAC 3 is almost here! We have come a long way this year, we received more than 900 contributions, 70 films and more than 1,200 people from 80 countries have registered for 5 days full of interesting events.

If you are coming to Marseille on the 21st of October, you will be able to withdraw your badges on the

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

World Bank Blue Ribbon Panel Report released

16th October 2013

The World Bank Blue Ribbon Panel report has just been released. A downloadable version of the report can be found here.

Beginning in 2012, the global ocean community was asked to nominate and vote on ocean leaders from a

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Countdown to IMPAC 3: Congress book launched

With less than a week to go until IMPAC 3 get to know more about what will be the biggest event in the world so far on MPAs.

Visit the website

Download the Congress book - your essential guide to the Congress

Countdown to IMPAC 3: web TV launched!

Web TV for the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress is online: On 9th of august 2013 we made a call for films. We received around 50 videos of good quality from all around the world, on the theme of marine protected areas in particular and the protection of oceans in general. These films will be uploaded on the Web TV before and during the congress.

Friday, 11 October 2013

New £75m UK marine science research ship named

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal named a new Royal Research Ship - RRS Discovery - at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton yesterday. She is a state-of-the craft for world-leading oceanographic research, commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and will be operated on NERC's behalf by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) for the United Kingdom's marine science community.

Discovery's capability will allow deep-ocean research in the remotest and least hospitable parts of our planet, from tropical seas to polar waters.


Monitoring of ocean currents to tell us more about our climate

Marine scientists in Scotland are part of an international team working on a newly funded multi-million pound project to monitor crucial ocean currents that shape Britain’s climate. The £20 million project will focus on the North Atlantic, in particular the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre—a system of ocean currents in the high latitude, deep-water basins of the North Atlantic Ocean. It will generate new knowledge and understanding

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mangrove carbon project has potential for voluntary market roll-out

A pioneering initiative will fund the protection and restoration of mangrove swamps by issuing voluntary carbon credits.

The Mikoko Pamoja project in the Gazi Bay area of Kenya, which was launched this week, covers 117 hectares of mangroves, which it estimate conserves about 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

20 Facts about Ocean Acidification: a summary of OA research and understanding

This new document presents the highlights of the Frequently Asked Questions about Ocean Acidification (2010, 2012;, a detailed summary of the state of ocean acidification research and understanding. The FAQs and this fact sheet are intended to aid scientists, science communicators, and science policy advisors asked to comment on details about ocean acidification. In all, 63

Deep-Sea Plunder and Ruin - New York Times Opinion pages

By Les Watling and Gilles Boeuf
Published: October 2, 2013

A historical moment for the life of the oceans is at hand as the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament wrangles with proposed legislation to phase out the use of deep-sea-bottom trawls and other destructive fishing gear in the Northeast Atlantic. And yet this crucial legislation could well be killed in coming days, not least because some of the committee’s 25 members represent districts with powerful interests in deep-sea fishing. Read more

Greater, Faster, Closer: latest review of science reveals ocean in critical state from cumulative impacts

London – October 3rd 2013: An international panel of marine scientists is demanding urgent remedies to halt ocean degradation based on findings that the rate, speed and impacts of change in the global ocean are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought.

Results from the latest International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)/IUCN review of science on anthropogenic stressors on the ocean go beyond the conclusion reached last week by the UN climate change panel the IPCC that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming and unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide and warn that the cumulative impact of this with other ocean stressors is far graver than previous estimates.