Story at a glance

  • Rolex has partnered with the nonprofit organization Mission Blue in an aim to promote ocean conservation efforts.
  • The Azores Archipelago is the latest designated “Hope Spot” where the organization is working to preserve its wildlife.
  • The Azores Archipelago is a chain of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of Portugal.

Rolex has partnered with the nonprofit organization Mission Blue in an aim to promote ocean conservation efforts working in the latest designated “Hope Spot” to support the preservation of its wildlife.

“Each of these Hope Spots is a special place, scientifically identified as vital to ocean health: some are already protected areas, others still stand in need of formal protection,” Rolex said of the partnership.

The latest “Hope Spot” is the Azores Archipelago, a chain of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of Portugal. 

“The Azores Archipelago is a magnet for life. It really is a magical place,” Rolex testimonee and founder of Mission Blue Sylvia Earle said in a news release. “Launching the Azores as a Hope Spot is so logical — just ask the whales.”


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The ecosystem of the Azores Archipelagos — comprised of a variety of marine life, such as whales, coral gardens and sponges — is being harmed through activities such as fishing, agriculture and coastal construction. Each has a negative effect, not only on the conservation of the ocean and its marine life, but on the livelihoods of local communities that rely on it for survival.

Earle, 86, is a renowned oceanographer, who, when she was 25, led a team that lived underwater for two weeks so they could study the ocean and the effects living underwater would have on the body. She founded Mission Blue in 2009 with a goal of creating a chain of marine protected areas that would enable the protection and conservation of 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.

“Under Earle’s leadership,” Rolex said, “the Mission Blue team has mounted expeditions to pinpoint and study these vital ecosystems, find ways and people to safeguard them into the future.”


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Published on Oct 13, 2021