Pristine Seas

Helping maintain healthy fisheries and clean seas worldwide

The ocean—covering over 70 percent of the planet—sustains all life on Earth. It supplies more than half the oxygen we breathe and regulates the Earth’s climate. Its fisheries provide employment for 180 million people and food for billions worldwide, and it offers opportunities for recreation, education, and tourism. Here at Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, we believe in the importance of preserving the health of the world’s oceans. To that end, we are proud to support National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, and have committed to donating at least $500,000 per year for five years (2014-2018) from the LEX-NG Fund to this effort.

Initiated by National Geographic Explorer-in Residence, Dr. Enric Sala, Pristine Seas seeks to find, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. A few areas of the ocean remain relatively unaltered by humans. These pristine places are key to the health of the global ocean ecosystem. Pristine Seas works to inspire governments around the world to create protected areas in these remote places in order to conserve and restore the richness of marine life and habitat.

Pristine Seas in a Territory of the United Kingdom

While Pristine Seas hasn’t led an expedition in the waters surrounding the British Isles or Ireland, it has explored the ocean around the Pitcairn Islands, a United Kingdom Overseas Territory in the South Pacific. The Pitcairn Islands are the most remote inhabited islands in the world, and the ocean waters that surround them are virtually untouched by humans: a true ocean wilderness.

A Pristine Seas expedition to Pitcairn in 2012 discovered rare shark and other little-known fish species in an intact deep-sea ecosystem with an abundance and diversity of marine life rarely documented by scientists. In March of 2015, British Prime Minister David Cameron's government created the world’s largest contiguous ocean reserve, setting aside 322,000 square miles (830,000 square kilometers) around the remote Pitcairn Islands for special protection. The new reserve is more than three times larger than the landmass of the United Kingdom—nearly twice the size of the state of California—and is home to a stunning array of sharks, fish, corals, and other marine life. Learn more.

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. If you would like to learn more about projects supported by the LEX-NG Fund worldwide, please contact the Fund by email. To support our work by making a contribution to the LEX-NG Fund, click here.

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