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Salas y Gómez Expedition: An Exceptional Mission

Comandante Andres Rodrigo, commanding officer of the Comandante Toro, shares his thoughts on the Chilean Navy’s first patrol of the new marine park surrounding Salas y Gómez and on hosting a civilian expedition team aboard his ship. Chilean ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Locating an Island Via Satellite

Marine ecologists use a new satellite image of Salas y Gómez and existing imagery of Easter Island to plan their dives and plot their data–and to correct long-standing cartographic errors in the placement of the former island. Alan ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Enric Sala Answers Your Questions

Marine ecologist and National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala takes a break from diving around Salas y Gómez Island to answer your questions. Are you guys taking necessary precautions so as not to affect the marine life in any way? ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Marine Protection for Rapa Nui

Oceana’s Alex Muñoz Wilson and National Geographic’s Enric Sala met this afternoon with Rapa Nui community representatives on Easter Island to discuss their ambition to create a marine protected area off the island’s only town, Hanga ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Last Day in the Marine Park

Today was our last day at Salas y Gómez before returning to Easter Island. We have spent only six days at this little island but already it feels like home. We first dived here wondering what its underwater world ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: To Motu Motira Hiva

For days, we’ve dived around Salas y Gómez and stood on deck, staring at its rocky, surf-swept contours. Much as we wanted to explore it above the waterline, a landing looked reckless, if not impossible. Michel Garcia had ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: How to Tag a Shark

Colleagues and marine biologists Alan Friedlander and Jim Beets of the University of Hawaii have brought satellite tags to track the wanderings of Salas y Gómez’s Galapagos sharks. Before they can tag them, they have to catch them, ...

Salas y Gómez: The Need for Protection

The Salas y Gómez expedition team awoke this morning to find a commercial fishing boat with lines in the water in sight of the Chilean Navy’s patrol ship–no more than a mile or two from the island ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Sharks, Stars, and Empanadas

From a Chilean Navy ship just off the remote Salas y Gómez Island in the South Pacific, marine ecologist and National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala reports that the sharks are becoming less timid as they grow accustomed to multiple ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: Dropcams Scan the Depths

Eric Berkenpas with National Geographic’s Remote Imaging team has brought along three dropcams–glass spheres with lights and video cameras inside designed to descend to the bottom, film, and return to the surface. Their purpose on this trip–to ...

Salas y Gómez Expedition: The Sunken Cathedral

The team continues to explore at Salas y Gómez, including diving at a spectacular site south of the island where the reef evokes a gothic cathedral. Lobsters and coral abound, but big sharks and other large fish are less ...

Salas y Gómez: Tiny Speck of Land in a Vast Ocean

After a 20-hour crossing, we arrive at the tiny, rocky speck of land that is Salas y Gómez Island. We drop cameras in transparent spheres to probe the depths, don masks, tanks and fins for our first dive into ...

One Man Down, We Set Out for Salas y Gómez

Aboard the Chilean Navy vessel Comandante Toro, the expedition team sets out from Easter Island for the storied Salas y Gómez Island. Before departing, we lose legendary underwater cameraman Manu San Félix to–of all things–a broken ...

A Rapa Nui Welcome

Alex Muñoz Wilson, Executive Director of Oceana in Chile, discusses the encouraging meetings he and National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala have had with Rapa Nui officials at the outset of the expedition, as well as the extraordinary work they’...

Easter Island: Where Are the Fish?

Marine ecologist and National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala reports that during his initial dives at Easter Island, he saw some of the healthiest coral communities anywhere, but practically no fish. Corals fluorish beneath the clear blue water off Easter Island, ...