Mission Blue Partnership | MSC Foundation

22 MAY 2024

Mission Blue and the MSC Foundation join forces in new marine conservation partnership

Three-year partnership leveraging MSC’s global scale is set to advance marine conservation through educational and ecosystem restoration initiatives worldwide.

Focus Area: Environmental Conservation


Mission Blue and the MSC Foundation marked International Day for Biological Diversity by announcing the launch of a three-year strategic partnership to advance marine conservation. This pivotal new collaboration combines the MSC Foundation's global scale and outreach capabilities with the expertise of Mission Blue, led by the renowned oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle.

Together, we aim to raise ocean awareness and engage in vital ecosystem restoration programmes, driven by a shared commitment to conserving and restoring our ocean’s ecosystems – the "Blue Heart" of the planet. 

It was this commitment that originally brought us to encounter and recognise the importance of each other’s work. In July 2023, Mission Blue designated the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve a Hope Spot in recognition of MSC’s successful ecosystem recovery on the island and in its surrounding waters, including the coral reef restoration and resilience-building efforts of the MSC Foundation’s Super Coral ProgrammePierfrancesco Vago – Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises – was named the Hope Spot Champion for Ocean Cay. Then, in October 2023, Dr Earle was named the Godmother of the cruise ship Explora I at its traditional maritime naming ceremony.


The new partners will collaborate on two primary initiatives.

The first is an Ocean Literacy Programme that is set to launch in summer 2024, informing around 4 million guests across MSC Cruises Division fleets about the ocean's vital role. Onboard lectures, activities and presentations by leading ocean conservation experts will shed light on critical marine ecosystems, including Hope Spots, mangroves, seagrass meadows, coral reefs, kelp forests and the deep ocean.

The second is a Seagrass Restoration Programme that will be planting up to 37,000 seagrass plants around the Spanish island of Formentera over the next three years to replenish its precious seagrass meadows. This initiative aims to achieve multiple, cascading benefits: enhancing biodiversity, improving fish stocks and sequestering carbon as it contributes to the overall health of the island’s marine ecosystems.

Speaking at the announcement of the partnership, Dr Sylvia Earle, President and Co-Chair of Mission Blue, stressed the urgency of the organisations’ efforts together: "The ocean is at a breaking point, demanding not just our attention but urgent global action. We must protect it as if our lives depend on it – because they do! By joining forces with the MSC Foundation, we can now reach millions of people who are out on the ocean each year to help educate them on what is below the ship and inspire greater marine stewardship.The MSC Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to ocean conservation at sea and on land at Ocean Cay in the Bahamas and through its outreach programmes aimed at engaging the public on a grand scale at a critical moment in time."

Pierfrancesco Vago, Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee and Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, highlighted the partnership's collaborative spirit: "Our joint commitment with Dr Earle and Mission Blue enhances our capacity to drive significant change. As the Hope Spot Champion for Ocean Cay, I am eager to see our efforts catalyse widespread support for protecting vital ecosystems in the communities where we sail, MSC Group peers and stakeholders worldwide, including our cruise guests.”

Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation, shed light on the operational aspects: "This partnership is about education as well as restoration, two of the Foundation’s focus areas. It sees us adding an important new restoration programme to our portfolio, with which we aim to boost ongoing efforts to replenish seagrass meadows, mitigating the effects of human activity and climate change, restoring ecological balance and supporting marine life."

This comprehensive strategic alliance brings a new dimension to both organisations’ shared commitment to the health of our Blue Planet, through its interlinked objectives of inspiring, mobilising and intensifying ocean conservation efforts around the globe.