Ocean Views

Imagine a coral reef, bone white as far as the eye can see, lacking in fish and other marine life. Now imagine spending three years diving around the world, seeing virtually nothing but reefs like this. You start to think to yourself, where do we find hope for coral reefs? Imagine after those years of...

Within a few short decades, we are faced for the first time with losing an entire ecosystem on which we depend. Humanity’s pivotal challenge to save coral reefs will be a test of our will, ingenuity and ability to collaborate globally. If we succeed, we will not only save up to a million species that...

With a global ocean economy worth trillions, no conversation about marine protection is complete without considering socio-economic concerns. Billions of people around the world depend on a healthy ocean for food, jobs, and a way of life. Today, long-standing pressures like fishing, shipping and development are being compounded by a changing climate. It has never been more urgent to work across sectors and borders to plan a sustainable future for our ocean. That is why we at the World Heritage Marine Programme were so pleased to join the Monaco Blue Initiative in Edinburgh earlier this month to discuss global trends in marine conservation....

Shortly after sunrise on April 2nd we successfully navigated Mir back to her mooring in Banyuwedang Bay in northwestern Bali after over three months at sea — a three months that brought us clear across the Indonesian archipelago and back, covering over 2,500 nautical miles along the way, all in the name of adventure and...

Sailing S/V Mir through remote Raja Ampat has been like traveling back in time to a wilder, less-peopled world.   I spend a lot of time imagining what this planet was like even just a few centuries ago, before people began altering Earth’s living systems on a global scale. Human beings have been leaving their...

The Biosphere Foundation’s crew aboard S/V Mir recently spent ten days working on reef restoration and education projects on the island of Mansuar in Raja Ampat. While there, we were reunited with some very special people. You might even call them heroes.   Sutama Pak Ketut Sutama is a self-motivated, grassroots, ocean conservationist, which in...

The crew of Mir weathered a big storm and made it safely to southern Raja Ampat, but unfortunately for the author of this blog, there was some trouble in paradise…   Arafura’s Fury If there’s one thing that’s certain about sea travel, it’s that conditions will change. Oftentimes, these changes are drastic and happen with...

The crew of Mir had a safe passage from Bali to the Banda Islands — a vastly remote and little-known archipelago that was once world-renowned as the heart of the “Spice Islands.”   The Banda Islands Remote islands often give our planet some of its most unique and unusual flora and fauna due to their...

In 2017, I got to hire local people from the village, not only to run the boat, spot whales, and manage the hydrophone, but also to use the DSLR camera and to enter, correct, and analyze data. Having been at it for four years now, Arturo Mellín, my principle captain, was a total pro at...

2014, the first year of our humpback whale research effort in Southwest Pacific México, was a big success. We sent the first 24 fluke (whale tail) shots to our colleagues at Cascadia Research Collective, the holders of a 20,000-strong fluke catalog, and they were able to match ours to pictures of the same whale flukes...

The esoteric ocean sunfishes have been splashing across the media with the latest big discovery, led by Japanese researcher, Etsuro Sawai, being announced this week: World’s heaviest bony fish identified and correctly named. The Sawai team assigned an old species name to a group of sunfishes who sport a large bulbous bump on their heads when...

By Luke Warwick Most people have heard their share of fish stories, some of which are entertaining and a few that defy belief. Here’s one you may not have heard. Last month, a little known international treaty took a significant step to protect several species that we often don’t think about—including the world’s largest fish...

By John Weller, Safina Center Fellow The clock is ticking on one of our greatest environmental achievements. It is set to expire on December 1st, 2052. On October 28th of last year, in a stone fortress in the center of Hobart, Tasmania, two dozen nations and the EU unanimously adopted the world’s largest marine protected...