Monthly Archives: September 2016

NGO’s Unite Against Shark Fin Trade!

Mission Blue is proud to stand with 80 other NGO’s in support of the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act. On September 22, 2016, the letter below was sent to Congress urging support and passage of this important Act.

Dear Senator/Representative:
We, the undersigned organizations, representing over one million Americans, submit this letter urging Congress to support and pass the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act (SFTEA) of 2016 (S. 3095/H.R. 5584). Sharks have been swimming in our oceans since before dinosaurs walked the earth. For over 400 million years, they have played a vital role in maintaining healthy oceans, but today, sharks are disappearing as a result of bycatch and overfishing, largely fueled by the shark fin trade. The demand for shark fins has led to the practice of finning – the act of cutting the fins off a shark and discarding its body at sea to drown, bleed to death, or be eaten alive by other fish.…

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Ocean Health—Sea Lions Sound the Alarm

By: Shilpi Chhotray, Mission Blue Communications Strategist 

We’ve all seen the photos—record numbers of starving young sea lions, little more than skin and bones, that have washed ashore along the Northern California coast. These figures and images, reported by The Marine Mammal Center, weigh heavily on our marine mammal-loving hearts. Sea lions are known for their curiosity and playful banter with human passersby– but what’s happening to their population?
Sea Lions In Trouble
Earlier this year, The Marine Mammal Center was rescuing dozens of sea lion pups at a time for immediate medical attention at their hospital in Sausalito, California. The animals were so dehydrated and emaciated that Center staff described them as ‘fur-covered skeletons’. Before the one year mark, a healthy sea lion pup should weigh between 50-70 lbs.…

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Hope for Southeast Florida’s Marine Ecosystems

By: Angela Smith, Founder and President of Shark Team One

The Story of the Coastal Southeast Florida Hope Spot!
North of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary exists a critical area of coral reef habitat and other associated marine ecosystems that have been in decline for decades due to overuse and their proximity to the heavily populated cities of Southeast Florida. Although in 1990 the Florida Keys were declared a sanctuary, the reef areas extending from Key Biscayne in the south up to St. Lucie Inlet in the north still remain unprotected.
Southeast Florida marine habitats hold populations of critically endangered species like staghorn and elkhorn coral, and smalltooth sawfish. They are also an important migration route for sperm and humpback whales; a migratory stopover for pelagic shark species such as great white, great hammerhead, tiger, lemon, dusky, bull sharks; a nesting habitat for three species of sea turtles; and a spawning ground for vulnerable fish species such as snook, grouper and snapper.…

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Biotherm & Mission Blue to Collaborate on Hope Spot Expedition in Balearic Islands

Since 2012, Biotherm Water Lovers has donated more than €700,000 toward furthering the protection of Mission Blue Hope Spots
Today Dr. Sylvia Earle and the Mission Blue Expedition Team join French luxury skincare company Biotherm in Mallorca, Spain to highlight their partnership and announce an upcoming joint expedition to the Balearic Islands Hope Spot. Since 2012, Biotherm Water Lovers has raised over 700,000 Euros from limited editions of its most popular skincare products and charity projects to further the protection of Mission Blue “Hope Spots”—special places that are critical to the health of the ocean—through ocean conservation projects. The newly announced Balearic Islands Hope Spot expedition will mark the first time Biotherm has directly supported Mission Blue to conduct a conservation initiative of its own.…

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Hope Spot Hatteras: Lessons Learned

Meet Hope Spot Hatteras, one of the 14 new Hope Spots designated by Mission Blue and the IUCN World Conservation Congress.


After months of waiting to hear back about our Hope Spot: Hatteras nomination, we are so happy to announce Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue have voted to establish a Hope Spot 40 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras! View the most recent updates on our website and the Hope Spot nominations here.     
As a small group of community members and students, taking on an idea this big to protect the ocean was intimidating, but the support from our communities and those across the east coast alongside our love of the ocean kept us fighting for Hatteras. This area in the North Atlantic is a unique place full of amazing organisms.…

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Hope in the Coral Triangle

By: Liz Cunningham

“We need to take care of the ocean, because we have no land,” Arman said. “The sea is our home.” Those were the last words the Bajau sea nomad in Sulawesi told me before we parted.
When I researched my book Ocean Country, I asked, “Who more than any other cultural group in the world calls the ocean home?” The answer was the Austronesia sea nomads of Southeast Asia. Nowhere on earth are there a people whose lives are more deeply intertwined with the sea. While they now primarily live in stilt villages, they live in the wake of a 10,000 year old tradition of nomadic life at sea—their ancestors ate, cooked, hunted, slept, and gave birth at sea.…

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Atlantic’s First Marine National Monument!

Office of the Press Secretary
FACT SHEET: President Obama to Continue Global Leadership in Combatting Climate Change and Protecting Our Ocean by Creating the First Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean

Today, President Obama will designate the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting fragile
deep-sea ecosystems off the coast of New England as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The new national monument – which encompasses pristine underwater mountains and canyons – will provide critical protections for important ecological resources and marine species, including deep-sea coral and endangered whales and sea turtles. 
President Obama will make this announcement in remarks today at the 3rd annual Our Ocean Conference in Washington D.C.…

Posted in .Homepage, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Featured, mission blue, Uncategorized |

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Bringing the Ocean out of the Ocean

Mission Blue is proud to partner with Discovery Deep! 
71% of the our planet’s surface is covered by water, yet 95% of that remains unexplored.  Discovery Deep, a Washington, D.C. based ocean exploration foundation is working to change that by “Bringing the Ocean out of the Ocean.”
Discovery Deep uses innovative technologies such as virtual reality, 3-dimensional mapping and 360-degree video to help scientists collect research data, map shipwreck sites, and to educate divers and non-divers alike in the wonders of the underwater world and the importance of conserving it.

Over the last year, Discovery Deep created digital maps of historic shipwrecks, collected DNA samples for a shark research project, and built a diver training course to collect citizen science observations.…

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Hope Spot Nominations Open to the Public!

Citizens of the Blue Planet Have Spoken: 14 New Places in the Ocean, Vetted by IUCN and Mission Blue, Will Now Serve as a Flashpoint to Ignite Global Support for Marine Protection
Over the past year, citizens and organizations across the planet have nominated marine environments especially deserving of protection – known as Hope Spots – for review by Mission Blue and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). After rigorous scientific vetting and policy analysis, Mission Blue and IUCN are proud to announce the names of 14 new Hope Spots, which came directly from a concerned global community calling out for more ocean protection. By allowing citizens to elect their own Hope Spots, Mission Blue and IUCN hope to meet the goal of igniting broad public support for a global network of marine protected areas large enough to protect and restore the ocean’s health.…

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Drawn to the Sea.

Narration By: Claire Paris, Biological Oceanographer and Free Diver 

I have always been drawn to the sea. As a kid, I imagined the magic of the aquatic realm and found comfort underwater, mesmerized by the sounds of waves on the shoals and of my heart beat slowing down.
I am a biological oceanographer and a free diver. The ocean is where I push my mind and my body. I study the earliest days of a fish’s life, what we call its larval stage. All fish, even those that grow to become very large, begin their lives very small. They may be tiny, but we’ve learned they are far from defenseless. They are strong and self sufficient having evolved to survive the pelagic life.…

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