In January, we carried out an expedition to Tristan da Cunha and its surrounding islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. The team, led by @paulroseexplorer , found a healthy environment filled with seals, albatross, and lobster. Turn up the volume and take a look at what we explored! Link to full video in bio. Video edited by @alexandra.verville and shot by @rogerhorrocks and @canavan87
Shot by @papajenk2 | It's World Penguin Day! This shot was taken on our recent expedition to the Tristan da Cunha island group when the team made a stop at Nightingale Island to collect seal trackers and document the island's flora and fauna, including these rockhopper penguins. These charismatic penguins are distinguished by the crest of spiky yellow and black feathers that adorns their head as much as by the way that they move; rockhoppers are found bounding—rather than waddling, as most other penguins do—among the craggy, windswept shorelines of the islands north of Antarctica. This is just one of the estimated 17 existing species of penguin. We couldn't imagine a world without these social birds, could you?
Shot by @enricsala | A Palau nautilus, Nautilus belauensis, glides by the camera during our team's 2014 expedition to the island nation of Palau. The nautilus resembles a squid within a hard, multi-chambered shell. These mollusks live in the twilight zone, below 200 meters deep, and they are magnificently structured to move themselves through the water: Nautiluses swim by drawing water into the chamber they occupy and expelling it through jet propulsion. They also adjust their buoyancy by using a tubular organ inside the shell (the siphuncle) to control the volumes of gas and fluid in the various shell chambers!
The earth is our home: We are inextricably connected with everything on it, from vast ice fields and cloud-piercing mountains to dense rainforests and coral reefs, and all the organisms that live within them. These biological systems are not limitless, yet they sustain us, and the wealth of the world. And it is up to all of us to help preserve the rest of life on this planet. Happy Earth Day, everyone.
Calling all ocean lovers: you can join our Pristine Seas founder marine ecologist @enricsala and other inspiring thought leaders at the Sustainable Oceans Summit here in Washington, DC, on April 22. The conversation will focus on the critical threats affecting our ocean, and how today's youth can use business, technology, and advocacy to drive a sustainable future that restores our ocean. Check out SOAlliance.org for more details on attending or tuning into the summit's live stream!
Shot by @enricsala | Looking at this shot from Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island, it's difficult to imagine what these waters would be like if the Juan Fernández sea lion population had not made a comeback from near-extinction! These charismatic sea lions represent one outstanding example of how protective actions can go a long way to change the course of a species' future.
Shot by @rogerhorrocks | A pair of dusky dolphins glide by the camera. These two were spotted when the team encountered a pod of the dolphins off the coast of Gough Island during our recent expedition to the remote Tristan da Cunha archipelago. Dusky dolphins are widespread in the southern hemisphere, though they appear to occur in distinct subpopulations.
Shot by @Rogerhorrocks | Across the southern seas from Chile's fjords, the remote islands of Tristan da Cunha are surrounded by underwater forests of giant kelp. This remarkable seaweed can grow to be longer than 60 meters, and boasts one of the highest growth rates of any plant on Earth. This shot shows one of our team divers casting light for filming at Tristan da Cunha; meanwhile, his teammates on expedition to Cape Horn also found themselves in subaquatic kelp forests.
Shot by @jonbetzfilms | A bird's eye view from Chile's Diego Ramirez Islands: You can see the Chilean Navy's meteorological station on Gonzalo Island, the southernmost inhabited outpost in the Americas! You can also see the sky dotted with albatrosses. Thousands of albatrosses - grey-headed, black-browed, and shy - nest on these unique islands.
Shot by @EnricSala | Grey-headed albatross chicks and adults are bathed in sunlight at dusk. Chile's Diego Ramirez Islands are the southernmost albatross breeding site in the world, lying nearly 100 km south of Cape Horn. The fate of these seabirds is intertwined with the health of the ocean, as they feed on an array of marine species from squid and crustaceans to fish. They typically feed in the open ocean and while they prefer to capture food from just under the surface of the water, they are able to dive as deep as 7 meters for their meals.
Shot by @manusanfelix_official | Following our last expedition to the Juan Fernández Islands we returned to southern Chile for a mini-expedition with @WCS_Chile in the magnificent Almirantazgo Fjord. Navigating the fjord, our team was blown away by the landscape of Cordillera Darwin, a mountain range mantled by an ice field larger than 2,000 square kilometers.
Shot by @manusanfelix_official | Ready for a close-up! At Almirantazgo Fjord in Chile's southern region of Magallanes, you can find a breeding colony of about 115 elephant seals, unique in Chilean inshore waters. These powerful seals are excellent divers, reaching depths of up to 1,500 meters. They are also undeniably photogenic.
Shot by @EnricSala | Nearly two years ago, the island nation of Palau designated 500,000 square kilometers of its marine territory as a fully protected marine reserve. It became the sixth-largest of its kind in the world. Palau's President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. emphasized that this was essential to conserving the island's livelihood, with island communities being among the most affected by threats facing the ocean. Now we've had the chance to study the biomass in Palau's protected areas, and we've found that protected waters had twice the number of fish as unprotected waters, and five times the number of predatory fish. These protected areas allow local fish to reproduce more, which in turn benefits local conservation and environmental tourism, as well as local fishers with spillover of adult fish into unprotected waters. Read more at the link in our bio!
Shot by @EnricSala | Welcome to the aquatic forest: like terrestrial ones, kelp forests have different canopy levels and form the foundation for a high diversity of fauna and flora. Here in the kelp forests at Cape Horn, our team found an abundance of marine creatures from various sea slugs and seaweeds to sea stars (can you spot one here?) and southern king crabs.
Shot by @EnricSala | On the sea floor and kelp forests at Chile's Cape Horn, our team encountered a variety of unique invertebrates, including this Labidiaster radiosus - a sea star that can have up to fifty arms.
Shot by @enricsala | There is nothing quite like swimming with sea lions. This photo was taken on a dive off the coast of Robinson Crusoe Island on our recent expedition to Chile's Juan Fernández Islands. Endemic Juan Fernández sea lions joined our team on several dives, swimming quickly among the divers and closely checking them out with large, shining eyes. Without a doubt, they are the cutest predators in this ecosystem.
Shot by @manusanfelix_official | Today we are reminded that the ocean, like all water on our unique planet, is inextricably tied to life on Earth: it provides food, security, and livelihood for billions of people worldwide, and has the remarkable ability to do this all sustainably if given the chance. We swim in it, sail it, drink it, breathe the oxygen that is created by it. It sustains not only the life that we see around us, but entire worlds that lie under its surfaces. That's why we need to protect it, to sustain it in return.
This photo was taken in the reefs off the coast of Niue during our expedition to the raised atoll last October. #WorldWaterDay#WWD2017#PristineSeas#exploration#conservation
Shot and text by @pelayosalinas | These ocean sunfish (Mola mola) checked us out today during the last dive of our scientific expedition to the Juan Fernández Islands. Over the past two weeks we have had an unforgettable time exploring this incredible corner of our blue planet. And what could be a better farewell than a formation of these gentle ocean wanderers?
Shot by @manusanfelix_official | Flounders are abundant on the team's dives at Robinson Crusoe. This flatfish, Paralichthys fernandezianus, is an endemic species to Robinson Crusoe and Alexander Selkirk islands. Around half a meter long and well-camouflaged to the rocky sea floor, they are tireless predators!
Video and text by @jonbetzfilms | Steep cliffs loomed above the crew as the Pristine Seas team explored the waters around Alejandro Selkirk Island. At over 1,000 meters high, Selkirk's peaks occasionally receive snowfall. The remote island's massive and rugged features make it seem totally inaccessible and yet the island is home to a small but dedicated fishing community committed to a sustainable future for the archipelago.