Changing Planet

New Caledonia Expedition: And We’re Off!

At Port in Noumea, New Caledonia. (Photo by Scott Ressler)

In the crystal blue waters of New Caledonia, a country slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey and located about 750 miles off the eastern coast of Australia in the South Pacific, a team of experts are setting sail on the next Pristine Seas expedition.

Loading Pristine Seas expedition gear loaded on the vessel and ready for departure. Photo by Scott Ressler.
Pristine Seas expedition gear loaded on the vessel and ready for departure. (Photo by Scott Ressler)

Our team has traveled from all around the globe to get to this remote country, and have spent the past few days hauling gear on board and getting settled in on the ship. We will use the latest technologies, including a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and rebreathers, to survey and document the marine ecosystem to determine the health of these waters.

Last year the governments of Australia and New Caledonia announced their commitment to create a large marine park in the Coral Sea extending across the maritime boundary between these two countries. However, a large portion of the Coral Sea in New Caledonia, in particular the remote Chesterfield Banks on the western region, remains largely unexplored.

Loading Pristine Seas Expedition Gear. Photo by Scott Ressler.
Pristine Seas Expedition Gear. (Photo by Scott Ressler)

We will survey the marine ecosystem to fill gaps in scientific data on the area. Follow along with the team here on the Explorers Journal; we’ll share photos and stories from our voyage – and hopefully some exciting discoveries too.

Click here to view all New Caledonia expedition blog posts.

This expedition is led by National Geographic in collaboration with the Institute de Recherche pour le Development (IRD) of New Caledonia and the Waitt Institute.

Thanks to Pristine Seas sponsors Blancpain and Davidoff Cool Water.

Marine ecologist Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who combines science, exploration and media to help restore marine life. Sala’s scientific publications are used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine protected areas. 2005 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, 2006 Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, 2008 Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.

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