Due to its remoteness and protected status, Malpelo harbors rich and intact marine ecosystems: hammerheads, silky sharks, whale sharks, and tuna are among the species that can be seen here in large aggregations.
Partnering with Fundación Malpelo and the National Parks of Colombia, the Pristine Seas team carried out an expedition to the Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary.
Their goal: to study the intact—and critically important—marine environments in this area, which form part of the tropical Eastern Pacific marine corridor. Stretching north to the Revillagigedo Islands, and south to the Galápagos Islands, this corridor may be used by migratory fish to move between feeding and breeding grounds.
Working with leading marine scientists from Colombia and across the globe, expedition members tagged sharks to capture data on long-range migration, used remote underwater video and open-water cameras to record pelagic species, and measured the abundance of reef fishes and sharks. The team also surveyed the ocean depths through the use of deep-water drop cameras—which can capture life at depths of over 2,000 meters— and by submersible.