"We dove under an oil tanker off the southern coast of Gabon. To us, it was like diving in pea soup, but we were very excited because this area of Gabon’s coast may be the most productive." —Enric Sala, explorer-in-residence and Pristine Seas director

Photograph by Enric Sala

Picture of ocean in Gabon
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Gabon is a wildlife Eden in West Africa, with 13 national parks covering 11 percent of its landmass, including megafauna such as gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and surfing hippos. It has hundreds of kilometers of pristine beaches and coastal lagoons, with healthy populations of humpback whales and sea turtles. However, very little is known about Gabon's underwater life, and there is no marine equivalent to the land park system. National Geographic's Pristine Seas project partnered with the Waitt Institute for Discovery and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on an expedition to Gabon in October 2012 in order to research this region.

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An underwater paradise in the remote Pacific Ocean will be protected—thanks in part to National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project.

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