National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions with Blancpain

Pristine Seas Expeditions with Blancpain is an exploration, research, and conservation project to explore, survey, and help protect some of the last healthy, pristine places in the sea.

Ninety percent of the large oceans predators have been removed by fishing, a fifth of the coral reefs are now covered by seaweed, near shore waters suffer harmful algal and jellyfish blooms, and industrial fleets are hammering deep seamounts that harbor unique and irreplaceable biodiversity. However, only 1% of the ocean is protected. There are very few pristine places left in the ocean. These places are the only baselines to know what was natural. They can reveal what has been lost and potentially they can guide toward strategies to restore degraded ecosystems.

Pristine Seas Expeditions have inspired the Chilean government to create the 150,000 km2 Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park (the largest no-take reserve in the American continent), and the 10,000 km Seamounts Marine Managed Area in Costa Rica. In addition, the President of Kiribati has shown interest in protecting the Southern Line Islands archipelago covering up to a total of 1.4 million km2, which would be by far the largest marine protected area in the world.

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