Sunday, 25 May 2014

Shark and ray sanctuary in the British Virgin Islands

Delighted the British Virgin Islands has established a permanent shark and ray sanctuary. This is a big step forward for conservation in the region and can be a catalyst for further protection of these beautiful species.

Read Richard Branson's blog about this here

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Hawaii to host the next IUCN World Conservation Congress

Gland, Switzerland, 21 May 2014 (IUCN) – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Council has selected Hawaii, United States of America, as the host of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress – the world’s largest conservation event.

Held every four years, the Congress brings together leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and indigenous and grass-roots organizations to discuss and decide on solutions to the world’s most pressing environment and development challenges.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Cabo Pulmo – A work in progress and a cautionary tale for the planet

For my husband Rick and me, an invitation to Happy Hour with friends led to an expedition of a lifetime. A convergence of common interests, science, and exploration took us recently to Cabo Pulmo, in Baja Sur, Mexico. A glittering oasis of plenty in an imperiled stretch of Mission Blue’s Gulf of California Hope Spot, Cabo Pulmo is a jewel in the crown of our planet’s marine reserves.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A personal appeal to help out Mission Blue -- takes 1 minute!

We're writing today because we really need your help...

Mission Blue is launching a World Oceans Day campaign with our partner Biotherm. In essence, Biotherm is setting up a Facebook game that will allow people from all over the world to upload their favorite ocean pictures and have them geotagged on a global ocean map. For every picture that is uploaded, Biotherm will donate €1 to Mission Blue. If we can get the word out about this game effectively, then Mission Blue could stand to gain some very critical financing for our operations.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Netflix Makes Push Into Documentaries - including Mission Blue!!!

Netflix is making a push into documentaries, with the subscription service announcing deals on Thursday to premiere four new films in the next few months.Netflix has always made non-fiction films available to subscribers, but until recently they have been projects initially made for theatrical release or on television networks. Netflix said it now wants filmmakers to make their work specifically for the service, or use Netflix to offer the first wide distribution.

The first of the four new films to be released will be "Battered Bastards of Baseball," about a defunct minor league baseball team. It will premiere on Netflix on July 11."Mission Blue," a documentary about marine biologist Sylvia Earle and her campaign to create a network of protected marine sanctuaries, is set for Aug. 15. Later this year the service will premiere "E-Team," a film about human rights workers from the makers of the Oscar-winning documentary "Born Into Brothels," and "Print the Legend," about 3-D printing.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Garbage in the Ocean – Littering marine wilderness

A recent research co-funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under the HERMIONE project found worrying evidences of garbage in the oceans around Europe. Our litter reaches even high seas before we are discovering them!

The research unit led by Christopher Pham from the Marine Research Institute from the Azores looked the occurrence of garbage in the ocean paying attention on litter covering the seafloor. This has been far less investigated than in surface waters or on beaches, principally because of the high cost and the technical difficulties involved in sampling the seafloor at bathyal and abyssal depths. Unfortunately places which we have not discovered yet were found full of the evidences of our overuse of resources.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Five Keys to Effective Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, are areas of the ocean which have a degree of restricted human use for the purpose of protecting its natural resources as well as its ecosystem. Over the past years, the number of MPAs has grown rapidly as conservation efforts push the need for these critical refuges for vulnerable species. But the threat of overfishing still prevails in both coastal areas and in the open ocean, where these MPAs exist.

Unfortunately, too often, MPAs fall short of reaching their full potential due to a host of problems including illegal harvesting, poor management, and the presence of animals which can move freely across the boundaries to be fished outside of the MPA. But Graham Edgar, from the University of Tasmania, along with 24 other researchers took on the first global study of its kind to identify what key factors produce effective MPAs and allow them to reach their full potential.

Environmentalists have new hope recreational fishing will be scrapped in Marine Park sanctuary zones

Conservationists are welcoming what they say are encouraging signs the new Premier and Environment Minister could overturn an amnesty on recreational fishing in marine sanctuaries.

Sanctuaries within areas like the Solitary Islands Marine Park in Australia are currently open to shoreline recreational fishing. The State Government hasn't yet made the amnesty permanent.

Both Premier Mike Baird and Environment Minister Rob Stokes represent seaside electorates, and have spoken of their love of the ocean. Mr Stokes has said strengthening protection for marine parks is a key priority of his as Environment Minister.

Friday, 2 May 2014

High Seas Biodiversity Agreement - sign the letter!!

The High Seas Alliance is coordinating an effort to collect scientists’ support for a high seas biodiversity agreement under the UN Law of the Sea Convention. It urges countries to honor the commitment made by governments at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 Conference.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Timore-Leste creates two new marine protected areas

Timor-Leste is one of the youngest independent nations in the world, yet it is making good progress in establishing protected areas for some of its most important natural sites, while complementing BIOPAMA’s goals in the Pacific region.

Timor-Leste recently announced the formation of two new marine protected areas, located off Atauro Island and off Batugade. While the marine parks are small in size (approximately 40 ha each), they represent an important step in protecting the young nation’s natural assets. These are the second and third marine protected areas to be established in Timor-Leste, following the creation of the Nino Konis Santana National Park marine protected area in recent years.

Unesco warns Australia over Great Barrier Reef

UNESCO has threatened to list the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage in Danger site, amid controversy over a plan to dump dredged sediment.

Reef authorities granted permission for the dumping in January as part of a project to create one of the world's biggest coal ports. But scientists have warned that the sediment could smother or poison coral.

UNESCO said given "significant threats" to the reef, it should be considered for inclusion on the danger list.

Registration Open for Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

The XPRIZE Foundation, the leading non-profit that’s solving the world’s Grand Challenges through large-scale incentivized prize competitions, is collaborating with ocean philanthropist Wendy Schmidt to offer $2 million dollars in prizes to address ocean acidification through the development of breakthrough pH sensor technology.

The winning pH sensor(s) of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE<> will be radically more accurate, durable, and affordable to spur global research and industries within ocean services and to address ocean acidification.