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White Shark off the coast of South Africa

Saturday, December 7, 2013

31 New "Hope Spots" Announced

Her Deepness, the fabulous Sylvia Earle, along with Mission Blue and IUCN, have announced 31 new "Hope Spots" at IMPAC3 (Third International Marine Protected Area Congress). A Hope Spot is an area of ocean that warrants special protection because of its diversity in marine species and underwater habitats. These marine protected areas allow the ocean space to recover away from human interaction. While less than one percent of the ocean is formally protected, the goal of Mission Blue and IMPAC3 is to deliver the tools necessary for implementing the protection of ten percent of the ocean by 2020. A lofty, but necessary, goal.

Photo courtesy of Mission Blue

These thirty-one new areas are in addition to the nineteen already in place by Mission Blue across the globe, a step experts say is necessary for a sustainable ocean future. The new MPA's include places such as the White Shark Cafe in the Pacific, the Scott Islands in Canada, and the Central Arctic Ocean.  

In her award-winning 2009 TED talk, Dr. Earle stated, "I wish you would use all means at your disposal – films, the web, expeditions, new submarines, a campaign! – to ignite public support for a network of global marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.”  ---The blue heart of the planet. No statement has ever been closer to the truth. With the tremendous effort put forth by ocean pioneers such as Sylvia and Mission Blue, her wish is that much closer to coming true. 

For more information on Mission Blue and a complete list of Hope Spots around the world, visit http://mission-blue.org/hope-spots-new/ 

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