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Osa Peninsula
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Osa Peninsula

March 2019
The Osa Peninsula is known for the remarkably high diversity of fauna and flora that it harbors. Once an island in the Pacific, the Osa Peninsula evolved in isolation until it merged with mainland Costa Rica two million years ago by way of the same fault line that extends to California.

Antarctic Peninsula
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Antarctic Peninsula

January 2019
This region is of particular interest to scientists and conservationists because Antarctica is one of the fastest warming places on Earth, and glacier retreat on the continent is causing environmental shifts that could significantly affect coastal seafloor ecosystems.

Azores
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Azores

June 2018
In partnership with the Oceano Azul Foundation, the Waitt Foundation, and the Regional Government of the Azores, the Pristine Seas team is conducting a scientific expedition to explore the waters around the Azores — including never before surveyed seamounts.

Malpelo
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Malpelo

April to May 2018
Partnering with Fundación Malpelo and the National Parks of Colombia, the Pristine Seas team is carrying out an expedition to Malpelo Island and conduct comprehensive surveys of the health of this region’s marine environment.

PROTECTED AREA
Yaganes
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Yaganes

February 2018
The Argentine island of Isla de los Estados lies 29 kilometers off the eastern extremity of Tierra del Fuego, aptly nicknamed the “End of the World.”

PROTECTED AREA
Ascension
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Ascension

May to June 2017
In collaboration with the Ascension Island Conservation Department, the British Antarctic Survey, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and The Blue Marine Foundation, the Pristine Seas team most recently conducted an expedition to explore, survey, and document Ascension Island’s offs...

Juan Fernández Archipelago
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Juan Fernández Archipelago

March 2017
The Juan Fernández islands are recognized as a distinct ecoregion that’s home to a high percentage of rare and endemic plants and animals, including the Juan Fernández fur seal and two petrel species. Despite being close to the South American continent, the islands’ marine ...

PROTECTED AREA
Tristan da Cunha
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Tristan da Cunha

January to February 2017
The most remote inhabited island in the world, Tristan da Cunha sits between the South Atlantic and Circumpolar Currents, making it a hotspot of biodiversity both on land and at sea. Comprised of four islands, Tristan is home to several species of whales and sharks, as well as elephant seals, sub-An...

Cape Horn
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Cape Horn

January to February 2017
Located on the southernmost point of South America, Cape Horn and the surrounding Magallanes region are home to a wild ocean ecosystem that includes abundant marine mammals and seabirds and the world’s southernmost kelp forest. The area serves as an important nesting ground for a variety of bi...

PROTECTED AREA
Niue
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Niue

September 2016
This raised coral atoll in the South Pacific is home to a wide variety of geological features, including steep limestone cliffs and exposed coral formations. The remote, submerged atoll of Beveridge Reef harbors a significant array of marine life, including pristine corals in its shallow lagoon. The...

PROTECTED AREA
Revillagigedo Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Revillagigedo Islands

March 2016
The waters surrounding the four volcanic islands of Revillagigedo contain one of the largest aggregations of sharks and manta rays in the world, as well as tuna, humpback whales, and five species of sea turtles. During their expedition here, the team explored never before surveyed seamounts, sampled...

PROTECTED AREA
Clipperton Atoll
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Clipperton Atoll

March 2016
One of the most remote tropical islands on Earth, uninhabited Clipperton Atoll is home to a biologically significant interior lagoon that’s rich in nutrients and supports extensive seagrass beds. In its surrounding waters, a high degree of coral cover, a strong population of sharks, and an abu...

PROTECTED AREA
Galápagos Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Galápagos Islands

December 2015
Reached by four major ocean currents, the Galápagos Islands are a hotspot of biodiversity, with some of its species found nowhere else on Earth. Offshore, the islands harbor over 2,900 known species of fish, invertebrates, and marine mammals. A new marine sanctuary announced in 2016 will prot...

PROTECTED AREA
Selvagens Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Selvagens Islands

September 2015
Located nearly midway between Madeira and the Canary Islands, this small archipelago—Portugal’s southernmost territory—is recognized as an important nesting site for numerous bird species. The team’s expedition here found that the islands’ open waters appear to be a vit...

The Last Ice Area
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

The Last Ice Area

March to April 2015 and June 2015
As the sea ice declines, the Last Ice Area—located north of Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island—will likely harbor the largest concentration of Arctic wildlife dependent on this ice for survival, including bowhead whales, seals, narwhals, and polar bears. To raise awareness of ...

Seychelles Outer Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Seychelles Outer Islands

March 2015
The Outer Islands of the Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, are home to miniature worlds that contain untouched habitats teeming with life. The team sailed 965 kilometers to reach these remote islands, stopping at Assumption, Cosmoledo, Astove, and Aldabra, one of the world&rsqu...

PROTECTED AREA
Rapa Iti
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Rapa Iti

October 2014
The southernmost islands of French Polynesia, remote Rapa Iti and the rocky islets of Marotiri have been free of the intense fishing and development that have altered other areas in recent centuries. Inhabiting their waters are a large number of endemic species, and the existence of two contrasting ...

Palau
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Palau

September 2014
A tropical archipelago in the western Pacific, Palau’s pristine dive sites draw visitors from around the world. In October 2015, the country passed legislation to protect 80 percent of the its waters—the largest percentage of protected marine territory of any nation in the world. The res...

PROTECTED AREA
Southern Mozambique
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Southern Mozambique

April 2014
The waters surrounding southern Mozambique’s Inhambane Bay are home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of marine megafauna, including manta rays, whale sharks, and bull sharks, as well as regionally endangered dugongs. But climate change, coastal development, and offshore oil a...

New Caledonia
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

New Caledonia

November 2013
Off the remote coral islands and atolls of New Caledonia, an incredible abundance of marine life thrives in pristine waters. In the west, the Chesterfield Islands serve as the most important rookery in the South Pacific for green sea turtles, and at Astrolabe Reef—just north of the mainland&md...

PROTECTED AREA
Franz Josef Land
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Franz Josef Land

July to August 2013
Franz Josef Land is the world’s northernmost archipelago, and its wildlife depends on the sea ice for survival. During their expedition here, the team conducted land and underwater surveys and were rewarded with plenty of surprises, including the first deep-sea footage of the rare Greenland sh...

PROTECTED AREA
Desventuradas Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Desventuradas Islands

February to March 2013
The islands of San Ambrosio and San Félix lie amid some of the most pristine waters in the eastern Pacific. The Humboldt Current, running between the islands and mainland Chile, creates a biogeographic barrier responsible for the unique diversity of life found here—a mix of marine speci...

PROTECTED AREA
Gabon
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Gabon

October 2012
Off the coast of Gabon, marine life feeds on inland nutrients carried from freshwater rivers to the sea, while offshore oil platforms have become a reef-like habitat for fishes large and small. A 46,000-square-kilometer MPA network covers 26 percent of Gabon’s water and protects, among other m...

PROTECTED AREA
Pitcairn Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Pitcairn Islands

March to April 2012
Home to fewer than 60 people, many descended from mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty, the Pitcairn Islands harbor marine wildlife in an almost pristine state. During a monthlong expedition here, the team explored the waters surrounding Ducie, Henderson, Oeno, and Pitcairn, as well as 40 Mile Reef, the d...

PROTECTED AREA
Sala y Gómez and Easter Island
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Sala y Gómez and Easter Island

February 2010 to March 2011
Off the coast of Chile, the unprotected waters of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, have been depleted of sharks and other large fish. But 320 kilometers away, Sala y Gómez, or Motu Motiro Hiva, is home to an abundance of marine life, including large predators such as sharks, amberjacks, and treval...

PROTECTED AREA
Cocos Island
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Cocos Island

September 2009
Well-known to seasoned divers, Cocos Island's nutrient-rich waters provide ideal feeding grounds that anchor the food chain. On their expedition here, the team tagged sharks, tracked sea turtles, and became the first to use a submersible to explore a remote pair of seamounts known as Las Gemelas...

PROTECTED AREA
Southern Line Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Southern Line Islands

March to April 2009
The five tiny isles of the southern Line Islands are among the most isolated atolls on Earth. The marine food web here, top-heavy with predators, is an example of the “inverted biomass pyramid,” a sign of reef health. In 2014 Kiribati President Anote Tong announced that a 12-nautical-mil...

PROTECTED AREA
Northern Line Islands
Past Expedition
PRISTINE SEAS

Northern Line Islands

January 2005 to January 2007
The waters surrounding the northern Line Islands preserve some of the world’s most pristine habitats and are home to proportionally more top predators than any other area studied in the world. In January 2009 President George W. Bush proclaimed a group of seven U.S. territories (including King...

PROTECTED AREA

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