Enric Sala

Written by Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, founder of Pristine Seas, and Director of the Last Wild Places Initiative For the last ten years, the National Geographic Pristine Seasteam has traveled the world to explore, document and protect the last wild places in the ocean. Together with our partners, we have inspired the protection of...

Yesterday, National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell convened the Mapping the World Public Policy Dialogue on Ocean Conservation. The forum, held at the Library of Congress, featured National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in a robust discussion about the challenges facing the world’s oceans as well...

Today, at the Our Ocean conference in Malta, the Government of Niue announced the creation of a large-scale marine protected area (LSMPA) encompassing 40 percent of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Also at Our Ocean, the Government of Chile announced the creation of two new fully protected marine reserves, one around the Juan Fernández Archipelago...

Enric Sala is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and author of Pristine Seas: Journeys to the Ocean’s Last Wild Places. The first time I jumped in the water at Kingman Reef I felt like I was in a time machine, traveling back to an era before humans began over-exploiting the ocean. As soon as the bubbles...

These days it is difficult to read news about the environment and not be depressed. Climate change, pollution, destruction of forests, overexploitation of natural resources—all driven by human population growth and rampant consumption. But there are success stories that should give us hope, from reforestation projects to marine reserves. We should learn from those stories,...

Today, the National Geographic Society Pristine Seas project announced that it is joining global ocean advocate and UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh and other key partners to create a network of protected areas in the Antarctic Peninsula. The effort, called Antarctica 2020, will work to protect the vulnerable seas in East Antarctica, the Weddell...

WASHINGTON (August 26, 2016)—Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today announced the expansion of the Russian Arctic National Park by 7.4 million hectares (74,000 square kilometers or 28,571 square miles) to include the Franz Josef Land archipelago. This expansion not only creates the largest protected area in Russia, a total of 8.8 million hectares (88,000 square...

In a study published today in the journal PeerJ, scientists from the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the National Geographic Society revealed that the northern Galápagos islands of Darwin and Wolf are home to the largest shark biomass reported to date (12.4 tons per hectare). Worldwide, overfishing has reduced the biomass of most sharks and other...

The government of Ecuador today announced the creation of a more than 15,000-square-mile (40,000-square-kilometer) marine sanctuary around two of the northern Galápagos islands, Darwin and Wolf. In addition, several smaller no-take areas have been created throughout the volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America. This move fully protects roughly one-third...

Climate projections forecast the total disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic by 2040, with the exception of one place: the “last ice area,” north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut. This area will likely harbor the largest concentration of Arctic wildlife that depends on the sea ice edge for survival, including bowhead...

Pristine Paradise. Palau. It sounds like a mantra, which one cannot help but repeating after being there. We just finished a Pristine Seas expedition to Palau, invited by the government to explore, survey, and document the underwater world of this little island nation that is also a large ocean nation. Unlike other Pristine Seas expeditions—typically...