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How a remote Indonesian island community is reclaiming its fishing heritage by restoring ruined coral reefs

Is this the future of marine conservation? A remote island community in Indonesia is restoring damaged coral reefs and reclaiming its fishing heritage.

National Geographic Explorers a ‘Secret Weapon’ to Change the World, Says Society President Gary Knell

“This is truly National Geographic’s moment, because as Neil deGrasse Tyson says, the great thing about science is that it’s true, whether you believe it or not,” National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell said at the opening of the Explorers Festival (#NatGeoFest) at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. today.

Knell told hundreds of National Geographic explorers and staff that the Society had been through a major transition that transformed the organization, “a transformation that better positioned National Geographic to address the multiple challenges facings its future, but more importantly, facing our planet. We figured out a way to support your critical work in a more direct way and tackle those issues by connecting and integrating our multimedia platforms. And today the content that we are generating, the stories we’re telling, the grants we’re making, the actions we’re taking are more needed and important than ever before.”

Food, Fuel, Medicine, Wrinkle Reducer: Algae Does It All

You know what there’s really plenty of in the sea? Algae. And I am in love with them. Most people envision algae as slimy, possibly toxic, green scum. But this diverse group of fast-growing aquatic plants is about to undergo an image makeover, and may soon seem flat-out glamorous. Algae got a lot of excited…

No-take sanctuaries proven to be most effective way to resuscitate and protect ocean life

New analysis of previous studies shows that biomass of whole fish assemblages in marine reserves is, on average, 670 percent greater than in adjacent unprotected areas, and 343 percent greater than in 15 partially-protected marine protected areas (MPAs), according to an essay published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science. Marine reserves also help restore the complexity of ecosystems through a chain of ecological effects (trophic cascades) once the abundance of large animals recovers sufficiently, say the authors, Enric Sala, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, and Sylvaine Giakoumi, Universite Cote d’Azur, in their opinion essay Food for Thought: No-take marine reserves are the most effective protected areas in the ocean.

There are significant additional benefits from a rigorous protection of portions of the ocean. “Marine reserves may not be immune to the effects of climate change, but to date, reserves with complex ecosystems are more resilient than unprotected areas. Although marine reserves were conceived to protect ecosystems within their boundaries, they have also been shown to enhance local fisheries and create jobs and new incomes through ecotourism,” Sala and Giakoumi say in their essay.

Whale conservation spurs economic revival in Mexican fishing community

Barra de Potosí is a tiny fishing village located in Southwest Pacific Mexico. Tucked between a mangrove and salt flat-lined lagoon and a 12-mile golden sand beach, Barra used to be the fishiest place I knew. When I first arrived 18 years ago, tiny fish would thwack my legs in the surf, every fourth wave revealed the form of a big yellowfin or needlefish, and schools of bottlenose dolphins patrolled the coast daily.

How the Safina Center is helping to save the seas this World Oceans Day (and every day)

The members of the Safina Center crew send out their World Oceans Day messages and discuss what they’re doing to help save the seas.

Hokulea Sights the Hawaiian Islands After Incredible 3-Year Voyage

At 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, the crew of Hokulea sited the sacred mountain of Haleakala, signifying that the legendary canoe is officially back home, bringing back wisdom, lessons, and ideas as gifts to share with Hawaii’s children from this world wide voyage of rich learning.

Monitoring sharks in the mid-Pacific: a journey to the sharkiest place in the world

Filming large schools of sharks at Darwin and Wolf islands, in the Galapagos. These islands were declared a sanctuary due to the large biomass of sharks. How do we know? The shark team at the Charles Darwin Foundation Research Station uses underwater video-monitoring surveys at this remote shark haven to understand and assess shark aggregations. This is the story of the team’s week-long sharky trip.

At the UN Ocean Conference, Recognizing an Unseen Pollutant: Noise

Whales, which live in and migrate between marine habitats (some with considerable levels of maritime transport and other industrial activities), are particularly at risk from noise. These underwater blasts can disrupt behaviors and prevent these marine mammals from finding food and communicating with one another.

Doing our bit for the ocean, and happy!

  Today is our last day at sea after a truly terrific expedition. Like all of the very best expeditions, ours was highly ambitious, and at times it felt impossible. But we not only completed all of our targets; thanks to this extraordinary team, we exceeded them! This has been hugely successful and enjoyable deep-sea…

The Maiden Expedition of 50 Reefs

Nimrod is a tough man with deeply tanned skin – the result of 40 years of fishing. He is one of the few remaining full-time fishermen in Palau, a beautiful, remote island in the Western Pacific Ocean. His job used to be easy. He could catch a full day’s haul without leaving sight of the jetty,…

Three-year Expedition Aims to Reconnect Humanity With the Sea

The transoceanic exploration vessel, Yersin, will depart from Port Hercules in Monaco July 2017 and return Summer 2020. The vessel will navigate during three years the globe with the Monaco Explorations team alongside scientfic and media teams, and will visit approximately nine areas to conduct scientific research in remote locations on the sea.

Hundreds of mayors, governors, CEOs and others pledge U.S. commitment to Paris climate agreement

Mike Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, submitted yesterday an unprecedented statement of unity from hundreds of U.S. mayors, governors, state attorneys general, CEOs and others to achieve and eventually exceed America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In a letter to addressed jointly to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, Bloomberg presented this declaration, called “We Are Still In.”

Towards an evidence-based Ascension Island Ocean Sanctuary

Written by Dr. Judith Brown, Director of Conservation and Fisheries, Ascension Island government The U.K. government has taken a proactive approach to marine conservation, committing to marine protection around both its own shores and those of its overseas territories in what is known as its “Blue Belt” commitment. Whilst an honorable statement, now comes the hard…

Kicking Off The United Nations Ocean Conference

Today marks the first day of the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference, a major conference energizing efforts to promote ocean sustainability. Dr. Sylvia Earle and Mission Blue are thrilled to be partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, life below water. SDG 14 aims to: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and…