Conservation organization Mission Blue designates Saba as a Hope Spot

Saba News wrote that Mission Blue—an international marine conservation organization—has declared the Saba Bank a “Hope Spot” in recognition of Saba’s efforts towards long-term sustainability. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

The prestigious international marine conservation organization, Mission Blue, recently declared Saba and the Saba Bank a Hope Spot in recognition of the ongoing efforts to ensure long-term sustainability and health for the island’s waters. Saba is the first Hope Spot in the Dutch Caribbean.

The Saba Sea & Learn Foundation submitted the request for Saba and the Saba Bank in July last year, and recently the foundation was informed that Mission Blue, led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, was declared a Hope Spot. Hope Spots are special places that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean.

Special place

“I’ve seen for myself what a special place this is,” said Dr. Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue. “So much of the Caribbean has been depleted, but this place has had some protection for a long time. The Saba Bank is the largest actively growing underwater atoll in the Caribbean. Even with its research just beginning, it is apparent how valuable this area is to the region. Saba Bank is an example of the success of long-term care,” Dr. Earle said.

The Hope Spot designation will put Saba in the spotlight for its achievements and garner future support if needed, stated Sea & Learn Founding Director Lynn Costenaro and Operational Director Emily Malsack. Designating Saba as a Hope Spot will not only connect Saba to more than 140 other like-minded organizations dedicated to the protection of the ocean but will encourage other islands in the region to follow Saba’s example, Costenaro and Malsack said.

Shining example

The goals of the Sea & Learn Foundation for the Saba Hope Spot are threefold: science, research, and exploration; restoration; and education and outreach. “Our primary goal for establishing the Saba and the Saba Bank Hope Spot is to promote the science, research, and exploration in our own backyard,” explained Malsack. “Saba and the Saba Bank are a shining example of how historical resource management can provide a hopeful future in an increasingly jeopardized world,” said Costenaro.

According to Conservation International, Saba is one of only eight locations around the world to score 99 on their Ocean Health Index demonstrating that the island is working effectively to conserve the region’s rich variety of species and habitats, reduce extinction risk and maintain and restore marine habitats.

Biodiversity hotspot

Kai Wulf, Executive Director of the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) described some of the marine life in Saba’s waters. “The Saba Bank is a biodiversity hotspot in the Caribbean, providing critical habitat for sea turtle species, more than 200 species of fish, a breeding ground for numerous shark species, including large tiger sharks, migratory humpback whales and vulnerable seabird species, specifically Red-billed tropicbirds and Audubon’s shearwaters,” he said. [. . .]

For full article, see

Also see

Related post, “Dutch King and Queen to visit Mission Blue’s newest Hope Spot: Saba and the Saba Bank Mission Blue”

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