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On the Tide

News Release December 17, 2014
Marine Conservation Institute Commends Presidential Task Force on Combatting Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud

Marine Conservation Institute, a leader in protecting marine biodiversity, commended the White House on the ... » read more

Blog December 15, 2014
Message from World Parks Congress: “Act Now to Strongly Protect Our Oceans”

I recently participated in the IUCN’s World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.  The meeting ... » read more

Blog November 24, 2014
5 Marine Protected Areas Worth Celebrating

This was a progressive year for ocean conservation. While we still have much work to ... » read more

Blog November 17, 2014
Are Wealthy Countries Failing to Protect the Oceans?

In conservation, it is often said that those countries with larger financial resources should be ... » read more

News Release November 17, 2014
New Report Shows that Most G20 Member Countries Are Strongly Protecting Less than 1% of the Ocean Area in their Jurisdiction

Marine Conservation Institute, a leader in protecting marine biodiversity, will unveil a report today at ... » read more


View our 2013 Annual Report


More emphasis is needed on better marine protected area design, durable management and compliance to ensure that marine protected areas achieve their desired conservation value. It is a complex undertaking, but one that needs to happen.
Dr. Graham J. Edgar
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Marine-protected areas are clearly a positive trend, a reflection of the growing awareness of governments across the globe that the oceans and their bounty are not limitless or indestructible.
The New York Times
Editorial Board (February 15, 2014)
Well-enforced no-take marine reserves universally increase diversity, size, abundance, and biomass of fish inside their boundaries, which makes them very attractive to tourism. The Global Ocean Refuge System will help the world create more of these no-take marine reserves.
Dr. Enric Sala
Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society
Governments and scientists need to work together to better design, maintain, improve and protect ‘protected areas.’
The New York Times
Editorial Board (February 15, 2014)
The Global Ocean Refuge System is critical to saving the biodiversity of our oceans. It makes so much sense, we all should have thought of it a long time ago.
Dr. Sylvia Earle
Renowned Ocean Conservationist
GLORES is the most exciting marine conservation initiative I’ve seen in a while! I think we urgently need something that can be an alternative to a simple rating of conservation success based on the number of square kilometers their MPAs cover.
Dr. Rodolphe Devillers
Memorial University of Newfoundland
The creation of a marine-protected area is only the start of an effective conservation effort, not the end.
The New York Times
Editorial Board (February 15, 2014)

President Lance Morgan Describes Marine Conservation Institute’s Important Work…

Chief Scientist Dr. Elliott Norse Proudly Tells America How Obama Made Ocean Conservation History

Also view Dr. Norse speak with Jeff Burnside on KomoNews in Seattle.

Additional Coverage

Media coverage of Marine Conservation Institute's role in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument expansion and pieces quoting our organization's experts:

How President Obama Created the Largest Strongly Protected Area on Earth

PRIMNM_Expansion_Actual_wEEZ.jpg President Obama signed a proclamation on September 25, 2014, designating the largest marine reserve in the world. His proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument from 83,000 square miles to 490,000 square miles.  To protect the whales, seabirds, sea turtles, fishes and corals in this region of the central and western Pacific Ocean, commercial fishing and mineral extraction will now be prohibited in this national monument.

The expanded monument is now the largest protected area on the planet (land or sea). It encompasses the seven islands and reefs of Wake, Johnston, Baker, Howland, Kingman, Jarvis and Palmyra, as well as the ocean around them.    Read more here...

Learn more about our decade of work in the Central Pacific

To Build a Global Ocean Refuge System

On October 22, 2013, Marine Conservation Institute announced the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES), a comprehensive science-based strategy for advancing marine protected areas worldwide.

kingman.jpg Oceans are essential to human survival and prosperity and yet human activities are pushing many critical marine species toward extinction. Marine protected areas are generally recognized as the best way to protect the diversity and abundance of the ocean's ecosystems, yet less than 2% of the ocean's area is now protected. GLORES (pronounced glôr-ees) will develop and manage objective criteria that incentivize and accelerate the creation of strongly protected marine areas worldwide.

Learn more at GlobalOceanRefuge.org

Conservation Priorities for 2014

Protecting wild ocean places, for us and future generations

  • Global Ocean Refuge System

    In October 2013 we announced a new strategic priority – the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES). This is a long-term, science-based, collaborative and international effort designed to catalyze strong protection for at least 20% of the ecosystems in each marine biogeographic region of the world’s oceans by 2030 ― enough to safeguard all marine species from extinction.

    Strategic priority

    » Click to learn more
  • Science-Based Criteria for Global Ocean Refuges

    At the International Marine Conservation Congress this summer we will be unveiling the scientific criteria that will underpin the Global Ocean Refuge System. There are many complex interacting factors to evaluate including which marine areas to protect, what constitutes strong protection, and how to manage and enforce the protection.

    Strategic priority
    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea

  • Scientists Support Letter for Marine Reserves

    To support the creation of more marine reserves, Marine Conservation Institute drafted and circulated a marine scientists’ letter calling on President Obama to strongly protect 20% of each ocean biogeographic region in the USA. Hundreds of scientists from around the world have been adding their names to this letter.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea

    » Click to learn more
  • Gulf Gems

    Our marine scientists published Gulf Gems: Treasured Places in Troubled Waters, a report highlighting critical areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The report aims to bring awareness to 10 spectacular places in the Gulf that are currently unprotected or under-protected from extractive and potentially damaging human activities.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea
    Advocating for effective protection

    » Click to learn more
  • New Zealand Ocean Acidification Workshop

    Working with New Zealand’s shellfish industry and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, we held the first-ever ocean acidification workshop, “Future proofing New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture: monitoring and adaptation to ocean acidification.” This workshop builds on the very successful meeting we held in Washington’s Puget Sound region that brought together researchers and shellfish farmers to assess the risk of acidification to marine life and options for future adaptation

    Partnering with business to advance ocean conservation

  • Hawaiian Monk Seal Interactions Report

    We presented the first comprehensive report on Human-Monk Seal Interactions that identifies the human interactions that negatively affect the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal. The report will be used by NOAA and Hawaiian partners to mitigate harmful interactions with fishermen, scuba divers, beachgoers and more. We work constructively with fisherman and other stakeholders to meet the seal's conservation needs, while also educating the public on how to co-exist with the growing number of seals in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea
    Advocating for effective protection

    » Click to learn more
  • Expanding Pacific Remote Islands Monument

    In September, President Obama created the world’s largest marine reserve across a vast area of the US tropical Pacific territories. Our scientists, in collaboration with other marine biologists, outlined the case for protecting this near-pristine region, and we continue to ensure that this area achieves conservation goals through effective management and enforcement.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea
    Advocating for effective protection

    » Click to learn more
  • SeaStates 2014

    Last year, we released SeaStates 2013 the first annual ranking of how well US states protect their coastal waters. At that time, only 3 states and territories – Hawaii, California and the US Virgin Islands – strongly protected more than 5% of their marine waters in no-take reserves, 9 states protected roughly 1% or less, and 15 states did not yet strongly protect any of their marine waters. This July we released SeaStates 2014, highlighting states, such as Oregon, that have implemented new marine reserves!

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea

    » Click to learn more
  • Protecting Deep Sea Corals

    Using high-resolution habitat modeling developed by our team of scientists and our colleagues, we identified deep sea coral habitats along the west coast of the USA and are advocating to the Pacific Fishery Management Council for creating new Essential Fish Habitat conservation zones to protect the corals before they are destroyed by destructive fishing techniques.

    Advocating for effective protection

    » Click to learn more
  • Deep Sea Coral Cruise in New Zealand and Coral Habitat Modeling

    Our scientists spent five weeks exploring seafloor habitats found on the Louisville Ridge seamounts east of New Zealand, testing deep-sea coral predictive habitat models. The modeling techniques were developed by our team of scientists and our international colleagues to detect biologically important areas of the oceans that need protection. We are also currently working on predictive habitat modeling projects in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea

    » Click to learn more
  • MPAtlas.org Campaign Tracker

    We added a significant new feature to MPAtlas that enables people to track the establishment of global marine protected area campaigns and initiatives. The new feature, called MPA Campaign Tracker, will also help ocean conservation groups coordinate their efforts and share their stories with the world.

    Scientific support for protecting places in the sea

    » Click to learn more
  • Sustainable Seafood

    Now in the 5th year of our partnership with Holland America Line and Seabourn, we work to ensure that sustainably caught seafood is highlighted onboard to guests. We will also be expanding our efforts to educate guests about the need to protect marine areas.

    Partnering with business to advance ocean conservation

    » Click to learn more