Pristine Seas

The National Geographic Society collaborated with the National Symphony Orchestra to co-commission a symphonic work that profoundly conveys the vulnerable state of the Arctic. Premiering on March 30, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ARCTICA will take listeners on an artistic voyage encouraging them to reflect on the wonders of...

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...

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the Argentine Congress passed a bill that established two new marine protected areas (MPAs). Yaganes, south of Tierra del Fuego, and Namuncurá-Burdwood Bank II, in the south Atlantic, encompass a combined 98,000 square kilometers of protected ocean, roughly the size of Hungary. The MPAs are home to an abundance of vulnerable and...

As much as 54 percent of the high seas fishing industry would be unprofitable at its current scale without large government subsidies, according to a new study by researchers from the National Geographic Society; the University of California, Santa Barbara; Global Fishing Watch; theSea Around Usproject at the University of British Columbia; and the University...

National Geographic will release new Planet or Plastic? content, including exclusive cut of singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s documentary on ocean plastic; Q&A with actor Adrian Grenier; and tips for families on how to reduce reliance on single-use plastic Planet or Plastic? activates in New Delhi, India, around the World Environment Day conference with an exhibition space and workshops National Geographic...

Shortly after sunrise on April 2nd we successfully navigated Mir back to her mooring in Banyuwedang Bay in northwestern Bali after over three months at sea — a three months that brought us clear across the Indonesian archipelago and back, covering over 2,500 nautical miles along the way, all in the name of adventure and...

Sailing S/V Mir through remote Raja Ampat has been like traveling back in time to a wilder, less-peopled world.   I spend a lot of time imagining what this planet was like even just a few centuries ago, before people began altering Earth’s living systems on a global scale. Human beings have been leaving their...

The crew of Mir weathered a big storm and made it safely to southern Raja Ampat, but unfortunately for the author of this blog, there was some trouble in paradise…   Arafura’s Fury If there’s one thing that’s certain about sea travel, it’s that conditions will change. Oftentimes, these changes are drastic and happen with...

The crew of Mir had a safe passage from Bali to the Banda Islands — a vastly remote and little-known archipelago that was once world-renowned as the heart of the “Spice Islands.”   The Banda Islands Remote islands often give our planet some of its most unique and unusual flora and fauna due to their...

Almost a decade ago, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project to explore and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. Since its founding, the project has inspired the creation of 17 marine reserves around the world, resulting in more than 5.2 million square kilometers of the ocean protected. A...

Alofe, Niue (Thursday, October 5, 2017)—The Government of Niue today announced the creation of a large-scale marine protected area (LSMPA) encompassing 40 percent of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The LSMPA will include Niue, a remote island nation in the South Pacific, and nearby Beveridge Reef, an uninhabited, semi-submerged atoll within Niue’s waters that is...