The rocky islets of Marotiri are the most remote in French Polynesia—go straight south from here and the next thing you hit will be Antarctica. They are also one of the most beautiful—and certainly the most “sharky”—places I have ever been!
During this Pristine Seas expedition to collect data and images of the species present here, we have been joining large groups of Galapagos sharks and are often surrounded by forty or more individuals.
Even though this is an incredibly isolated place we are finding sharks with hooks in their mouths, which is an indicator of commercial fishing pressure. It simply reinforces the need to support the Rapan people’s desire to protect these waters. It’s painful for us to see these beautiful animals inhibited by works of man, and we are hoping on the next few dives to catch the affected sharks and remove the hooks.Seeing a shark caught in a hook all the way out here is a reminder of the far-reaching impacts of human activity in the ocean. We hope to return with the proper tools to help these sharks, if weather permits additional dives here. (Photo by Manu San Felix)
With several animals to locate and help, unpredictable weather, and our limited manpower, there is no guarantee we’ll be able to do much for these creatures in the short term, but in the long term, full protection of the area could save many more animals than we could ever help individually.
For better and worse the impact we can have on even the remotest places should never be underestimated!
The Pristine Seas expedition to Rapa is sponsored by Blancpain and Davidoff Cool Water.