July to August 2022
The team studied five key priority areas identified by Indigenous leadership and the Canadian government: Nunatsiavut marine region near the Torngat Mountains, western Hudson Bay along the coast of northern Manitoba, Eeoyou Istchee marine region and Mushkegowuk marine region in James Bay, and Arqvil...
March to April 2022
In March and April 2022, National Geographic Pristine Seas partnered with the Government of Colombia to support an expedition to three unique regions in Colombia's Pacific and Caribbean waters.
Southern Line Islands
The Southern Line Islands (SLI) comprises five uninhabited islands: Malden, Starbuck, Vostok, and Caroline (now called Millennium). These atolls are located within the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Kiribati, between 2,400 and 3,300 kilometers south of Hawaii. While they were exploite...
February to March 2020
Kawésqar National Park is one of the largest parks in the world and the second-largest terrestrial park in Chile. It includes large swaths of the archipelagos in the provinces of Magallanes and Última Esperanza, as well as half of Isla Riesco. Its landscapes are a mosaic of mountain ra...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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 ...
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...
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...
September to October 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...
March to April 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...
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...
November to 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...
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
March to 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
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...
October to November 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 ...
August to 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...
March to 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...
October to 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Salas 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, Salas y Gómez, or Motu Motiro Hiva, is home to an abundance of marine life, including large predators such as sharks, amberjacks, and treva...
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...