National Geographic Pristine Seas is dedicated to protecting the last wild places in the ocean.
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Thank you to everyone who made their voice heard to protect our marine national monuments and sanctuaries! Of the hundreds of thousands of comments submitted, 99% were in support of protecting these extraordinary areas (thanks to @savingoceans for the analysis). Shot by @enricsala | A manta glides through the water at Kingman Reef in the northern Line Islands, which are now part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
Text by @pelayosalinas | Two days ago the Galápagos National Park and Ecuadorian Navy seized a Chinese flagged vessel transporting thousands of sharks inside the Galápagos Marine Reserve. This is likely the biggest seizure in the history of the Galápagos and highlights the global tragedy of illegal, unreported and unregulated fisheries. Less than 2% of our oceans are totally protected, yet every day thousands of fishing boats fish illegally these protected waters. Now more than ever, use your voice to speak out against this nonsense and support the creation of more protected areas.
The above shot shows hammerheads as they should be seen- in healthy populations in their habitat. Check out @pelayosalinas bio to learn more about the seizure and how you can support the Galápagos National Park's efforts to keep their marine reserve safe from illegal fishing. #NatGeo#pristineseas#marine#conservation#exploration#expedition#monument#sanctuary#ocean#protection#wildlife#sharks#Galapagos#illegalfishing
Giant clams exhibit an intense color palette in the waters of the northern Line Islands, paving the lagoons of pristine reefs like Kingman. Each pair of curves shells harbors a delicate animal that filters microbes from the water, helping to keep the reef healthy. These were shot by @enricsala during our expedition to the northern Line Islands, which are now protected by the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
America's ocean monuments, including Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Pacific Remote Islands, Papahanaumokuakea, Marianas Trench, and Rose Atoll are currently under "review" by the Department of Commerce. The people have until tomorrow, August 15, to weigh in and make sure monuments stay protected. Use the link in our profile to submit a comment to the DOC today. #NatGeo#pristineseas#marine#monumentsforall#conservation#exploration#expedition#monument#sanctuary#ocean#protection#clams#coral#reef#PRIMNM
In the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles islands harbor important nesting sites for both hawksbill and green sea turtles. Though both species have been legally protected in the Seychelles' waters since 1994, across the globe their populations are declining due to foraging and nesting habitat destruction, marine pollution, hunting, and fishing bycatch. Indeed it is already a journey for these little hatchlings to survive and thrive into adulthood. Protecting key marine ecosystems is critical to keeping endangered sea turtles from disappearing.
Video shot by @neilgelinas during our expedition to the Seychelles Outer Islands in 2015.
A transparent shrimp the size of a grain of rice is almost invisible on its anemone host at Kingman Reef. This shot was captured by @enricsala during our expedition to the northern Line Islands, which are now protected by the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The Department of Commerce is currently "reviewing" the marine sanctuaries and monuments designated or expanded over the past 10 years. Any changes to these monuments and sanctuaries could make them vulnerable to oil and gas drilling and could threaten unique habitats and thousands of marine species and birds that call these places home. Make your voice heard in favor of keeping all of our national monuments protected at monumentsforall.org/marine #NatGeo#pristineseas#marine#monumentsforall#conservation#exploration#expedition#monument#sanctuary#environment#heritage#ocean#protection#shrimp#coral#reef#PRIMNM
Last September we carried out an expedition to the island of Niue—a unique raised coral atoll located in the South Pacific. Lying 120 nautical miles southeast of the main island is remote Beveridge Reef, a submerged atoll (visible only at low tide) that harbors a significant array of marine life. In its shallow lagoon, protected from the heaving seas, gray reef sharks, 80-pound groupers, moray eels, wrasses, and puffer fish swim above colorful corals in pristine condition. The reef revealed an extraordinary underwater world, with the expedition team spotting sharks on every dive—up to eighty gray reef sharks at a time—and hearing the song of calving humpback whales, powerful enough to travel miles underwater.
At the convergence of two marine biogeographic regions, Mexico's Revillagigedo islands are rich with marine life. Known as the “Galápagos of Mexico,” this archipelago provides critical habitat to one of the largest aggregations of sharks and manta rays in the world, as well as tuna, humpback whales, dolphins, five species of sea turtles and many endemic species. The Revillagigedo archipelago was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site last year, yet the unique and pristine marine ecosystems that it harbors are threatened by the pressures of industrial and sport fishing. These remarkable islands represent a true opportunity for no-take protection.
With more than half a million comments submitted in support of our marine monuments and sanctuaries and ongoing public interest, the Department of Commerce has announced an additional 15-day comment period from yesterday to August 15. The Antiquities Act was signed by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906 to safeguard and preserve U.S. public lands and waters, and cultural and historical sites, for all Americans to enjoy. From Papahānaumokuākea in Hawaii to Thunder Bay in Michigan, the national marine monuments are a celebration of our collective marine heritage. These places must remain preserved. Make your voice heard at monumentsforall.org/marine
Shot by @enricsala at Kingman Reef during our expedition to the northern Line Islands, which are now protected by the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. #NatGeo#pristineseas#marine#monumentsforall#conservation#exploration#expedition#monument#sanctuary#ocean#protection#sharks#fish#coral#reef#PRIMNM
There's no time like #sharkweek to remember our recent encounter with a sixgill shark during our expedition to Ascension, led by @paulroseexplorer. We never know what deep sea creatures will find our drop-cameras on the ocean floor. Here, at a depth of nearly 2,500 feet, a bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus) decided the drop-camera was worth a taste. This is one of the largest shark species that feed on prey other than plankton.
From the @NatGeo archives: "An unconcerned Palmyra booby (Sula piscator) daring the camera." This shot was taken at Palmyra Atoll in the northern Line Islands over a century ago, during the 1913 scientific voyage of the "Luka," a power schooner that set out to explore the island and the flora and fauna that occupied it.
Today, Palmyra is part of the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument, which encompasses critical habitat for 22 species of protected marine mammals, several millions seabirds of 19 different species, and 5 species of protected sea turtles. It harbors some of the most pristine coral reefs and reef fish populations in the world. This is one of the 11 national marine sanctuaries that is currently under review by the Department of Commerce.
Our diverse U.S. marine monuments and sanctuaries protect a rich array of ocean species and their habitats, and rolling back protections to allow energy and mineral exploitation or commercial fishing imperils our country's cultural and scientific legacy. Today is the last day to submit a comment to the Department of Commerce in favor of keeping our national marine monuments and sanctuaries protected. Take a few minutes to tell the DOI why these places are important www.monumentsforall.org/marine
A blacktip shark swims in the murky waters of a mangrove on Isabela Island in the Galápagos. Blacktips gather in aggregations to set up pup nurseries in shallow waters like mangroves. Young blacktips will continue to live in the coastal nurseries as juveniles, which likely helps them avoid predation from larger sharks.
Shot by @enricsala on our 2015 expedition to the iconic Galápagos archipelago.
Shot by @EnricSala | The Department of Interior's public comment period closed on July 10, but you still have an opportunity to make your voice heard about why the nation's marine monuments are important: The Department of Commerce is currently "reviewing" marine sanctuaries and monuments designated or expanded over the past 10 years, including Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California, Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary off Michigan, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine Monument in the Atlantic, and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific, where the remarkable reef above was photographed during our expedition to the northern Line Islands. Changes to these monuments and sanctuaries could threaten unique habitats and thousands of marine species and birds that call these places home. Take action by July 26 to tell the Department of Commerce why these special places need protection! Submit your personalized message at: www.monumentsforall.org/marine.
Shot by @enricsala | #tbt to our 2009 expedition to the Southern Line Islands, where top predators keep the marine ecosystems healthy and productive. In the words of expedition leader @enricsala: “Diving in the Southern Line Islands is like getting in a time machine and traveling back to the reefs of the past, when sharks - and not humans - were the top predators.” Visit @NatGeoMuseum’s Sharks exhibit this summer to learn more about sharks and why they need our help. #NatGeo#pristineseas#SummerOfSharks#sharks SouthernLineIslands #ocean#conservation#exploration
Shot by @enricsala | Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are not only the largest sharks found at Costa Rica’s Cocos Island - they are also the largest fish in the ocean! Unlike most of their toothy cousins, these ocean giants are filter-feeders, cruising through the water with their mouths wide open, gathering plankton and other small marine organisms. Along with an abundance of other shark species, their presence during our 2009 expedition to the waters around Cocos Island signals a healthy marine ecosystem. However, they are vulnerable to fishing pressure and vessel strikes, and are currently classified as endangered by the IUCN. The good news is that by creating well-managed marine reserves, world leaders can work to protect these beautiful behemoths and the ecosystems they inhabit.
Come visit @NatGeoMuseum’s Sharks exhibit to learn more about sharks and the crucial role they play in keeping ocean ecosystems in balance. #NatGeo#pristineseas#SummerOfSharks#whaleshark#Rhincodontypus#CocosIsland#shark#ocean#conservation#exploration
Shot by @enricsala | Silky sharks visit our divers in the waters of San Benedicto Island, during last year's expedition to Mexico's Revillagigedo islands. These gentle animals swam next to the team as they jumped off the stern of the expedition ship and followed the divers as long as they were in the water. From the field, expedition leader Enric Sala wrote, "After spending an hour with them, we returned to the ship and thought that everyone who is afraid of sharks because of movies like ‘Jaws’ should spend time in places like these, where sharks are abundant. That would change people’s minds about the sea. The most dangerous part of an expedition is actually the taxi ride to the airport!" But if you can't find your way to the water this summer, come visit @NatGeoMuseum’s Sharks exhibit to find out how sharks are a vital part of our ecosystem — and why they need protecting. #NatGeo#pristineseas#summerofsharks#marine#ocean#conservation#exploration#sharks
Shot by @EnricSala | A gray reef shark patrols Kingman Reef, a pristine atoll in the Northern Line Islands that is now protected by the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument. It was here that our team discovered that, in a pristine reef, top predators such as these sharks outweigh their prey. By preventing one species from monopolizing resources and helping to remove sick and weak marine animals, sharks play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem diversity and serve as an indicator of ocean health.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument protects one of the most unique marine environments in the northeast Atlantic. The marine species that call it home include deep-sea corals, Kemp's ridley sea turtles, deep-sea fish, and sperm, fin, and sei whales. The subject of scientific exploration since the 1970s, this marine monument also recognizes the unique role that fishing plays in the region's economy and culture, and preserves these resources for future generations. Chime in and tell the Department of the Interior why protecting this unique marine environment matters! Link in profile. #BlueParks#MonumentsForAll#NatGeo#pristineseas#conservation#protection#exploration#marine#ocean#monument#wild#seamounts#canyons
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Today we are celebrating the 11th birthday of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument — a remarkable marine conservation area in the northwestern Hawaiian islands. It's home to more than 7,000 unique species, 25% of which are only found within the monument’s waters, including 22 species of seabirds, 22 species of whales and dolphins, 5 species of endangered sea turtles, and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Papahānaumokuākea protects intact ecosystems and its total area makes up less than one percent of the Pacific Ocean, yet it is under "review" by the current administration. If you support our nation's dedication to protecting our wild places, you can click the profile link to add your voice on behalf of the national monuments! #BlueParks#MonumentsForAll#NatGeo#pristineseas#conservation#protection#exploration#marine#ocean#monument#wild
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America’s ocean monuments including Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, Pacific Remote Islands, Papahānaumokuākea, Marianas Trench, and Rose Atoll are under "review" by the current administration right now. All American land and marine monuments stand as important examples of our nation's dedication to protecting our wild places. The people have a brief window — until July 10 — to weigh in and make sure that these monuments stay protected. Please submit a comment to the Department of the Interior to let them know that our marine monuments protect incredible places in the ocean! You can click the link in our profile to do so. #MonumentalMonday#BlueParks#MonumentsForAll @NatGeo#pristineseas#conservation#protection#exploration#marine#ocean#monument#wilderness
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Photo by @PaulNicklen/SeaLegacy | Orcas carousel feeding on herring with other species of whales. And Fjord, near Andenes, Norway. #SpeakForNature