Marine Conservation Biology Institute Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Protecting Marine Ecoystems

High Seas Gems
Hidden Treasures of Our Blue Earth             

Bigeye Jacks
A school of bigeye jacks.
Image: © Jürgen Freund /

In April 2008, MCBI joined with International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and Chantecaille Beauté to develop a booklet highlighting special places in the high seas.  This unusual partnership arose from a single common interest: to advance international efforts to meet the World Summit for Sustainable Development 2012 target for protecting ecologically important places throughout the world’s oceans, including the high seas.  This target has been endorsed by the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as several national governments, but with only modest progress made to date.

High Seas Gems: Hidden Treasures of our Blue Earth, is a booklet which showcases a variety of high seas sites throughout the five ocean basins and the Mediterranean Sea, ranging from the icy waters of the Ross Sea in Antarctica to the warm, salty waters of the Sargasso Sea in the North Pacific.  As is true of many places in the high seas, these ten sites house an immense amount of biological diversity, much of which remains poorly described or even undiscovered.

This booklet was launched on October 9th, 2008 in Barcelona at the World Conservation Congress, the world’s largest conservation event, held every four years by IUCN.  MCBI and its colleagues created this publication to promote interest in protecting high seas places.  This booklet is one part of MCBI’s effort to work with international partners in applying scientific information towards the identification and designation of a network of high seas protected areas.


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The High Seas Gems Project highlights the beautiful biodiversity of the high seas, and is a collaboration of MCBI, IUCN, WCPA, and Chantecaille Beauté.




Disclaimer: This brochure does not necessarily represent the views of IUCN, WCPA, or any other affiliated organizations. The material and geographic descriptions of this document are for illustrative purposes only and do not imply the expressions of any opinion whatsoever of any affiliated organizations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.




Download or request a copy of the High-Seas Gems- Hidden Treasures of Our Blue Earth.

Explore the high seas gems in google earth. Download the google earth file.