Sylvia Earle, Rolex Testimonee and Founder of Mission Blue, during a visit in 2017 to a Hope Spot at Cabo Pulmo, Los Cabos, Mexico.
Since 2014, Rolex and Mission Blue have shared a commitment to environmental causes, working together with the Perpetual Planet initiative to restore and protect the world’s oceans. Marine explorer Sylvia Earle launched the initiative and has also been a Rolex Testimonee since 1982. Mission Blue’s raison d’être is to create a global network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) known as Hope Spots, having established more than 130 already, with a goal of contributing to the international target of 30 per cent marine protection by 2030. Protecting breeding grounds for migratory animals, including the Humpback whales, in the warm seas off Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is the initiative’s latest Hope Spot. Plastic pollution and entanglement in industrial fishing lines causes threats to the sea animals that swim to the Central American country from Antarctica.
Sea turtles are among many species that will benefit from the creation of the new Hope Spot.
“These areas host breeding and feeding areas for a number of species of whales and thousands of other organisms like sharks, tunas, and the little creatures upon which all the rest are based. By supporting the full protection of this corridor of life along the Osa Peninsula, life itself will be enhanced,” says Earle. There are currently MPA’s in place but they need to be expanded for greater impact and protection throughout the entire area, according to Mission Blue Champion and founder of Innoceana, Carlos Mallo Molina. “Artisanal fishermen will be in a better place thanks to a healthy coral reef and mangroves. With the prohibition of industrial fishing, dive sites will be more attractive, strengthening the local ecotourism industry. It would mean a win-win for all life here, including for humans,” explains Mallo Molina.