Introduction to Marine Megafauna Foundation
Introduction to the Marine Megafauna Foundation
By Bridgette Schafer
During the month of October, Macrothink is excited to be donating 15% of our proceeds to the Marine Megafauna Foundation, a conservation nonprofit headquartered in Truckee, California. This organization focuses on protecting and preserving our oceans and the megafauna, large marine species such as sharks, turtles, and whales, within them. MMF’s team is made up of internationally recognized scientists who are experts in their fields and continue to push the boundaries of marine research.
Check out BBC’s documentary “Andrea, Queen of Mantas”, about MMF’s lead scientist, Andrea Marshall, and her groundbreaking research on manta rays.
Photo: Andrea Marshall
It is common knowledge that the health of our planet is seriously threatened by human pressures and resulting climate change. From rising temperatures and sea levels to oil spills and other types of pollution, the oceans are experiencing rapid change that has been and continues to be detrimental to the species that live within them. Currently, more than 2,200 marine animals are on the endangered species list and threatened with extinction, and around the world the majority of megafauna species’ numbers are plummeting. MMF is facing these issues and working to promote conservation through research, education, and the employment of concrete solutions to combat these catastrophic problems.
“Plastic is a threat but it is not the only threat and it’s not the biggest one either. We need to go beyond plastic and start talking about overfishing, ocean warming and acidification.”
Photo: Paulo Oliveira/Alamy
MMF acknowledges that the facts alone, no matter how alarming they may be, are not enough to inspire change worldwide. The nonprofit works to fill this gap by bringing their information and strategies directly to businesses, governments, and policy makers in order to enact concrete progress. The research from which they pull information is done in three primary regions across the globe: Central America, the Western Indian Ocean, and Southeast Asia. These regions receive targeted attention from MMF, as they are extremely biodiverse and have high concentrations of species threatened by human activity. The Foundation made 1,120 research dives in 2016 alone!
“Saving the ocean is a global problem which requires a global solution. My concern is that the rise of nationalism is not helping us.”
Photo: EDGE of Existence
In recent years, MMF has accomplished great feats, such as facilitating the first community-managed reef closure in Mozambique in aims to protect the region’s biodiversity. Additionally, the organization has discovered a third species of mantaray and has added other vulnerable breeds to the endangered species list. MMF hopes to continue pursuing its mission and attaining goals by educating local communities that have the most direct impact on our wounded oceanic ecosystems, but also by educating the general public about ways in which we are able to stop the assault on our oceans and help them heal. Learn more about the Marine Megafauna Foundation’s groundbreaking research and ways in which you can help on their website, https://marinemegafaunafoundation.org/.