Pitcairn is better known globally as the place where British 'Bounty' mutineers settled in 1790, but our comprehensive expedition in March 2012 revealed the true bounty of these waters. Our surveys—over 450 hours underwater—revealed pristine marine ecosystems with intact coral communities and healthy fish populations dominated by top predators such as sharks. The unaltered deep sea habitats of the Pitcairn Islands harbor unique biodiversity including rare deep sea sharks, and fish species completely new to science. This demonstrates the global biological value of the Pitcairn Islands waters. After seeing what our expedition team had found, the Pitcairn community voted unanimously for the protection of their waters in September 2012. Together with our partners the Pitcairn Council and the Pew Environment Group, we proposed the creation of what would be the largest marine reserve in the world around the Pitcairn Islands. The UK government is now studying the proposal.
Pitcairn Blog Posts
- Pitcairn: The Real Bounty Revealed
- Mike Fay’s Complete Pitcairn Islands Journal
- Anniversary of Mutiny on the “Bounty”: Pitcairn Island Photos
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition: Top Sunset & Cloud Photos
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition Photos: South Pacific Textures
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition: What We Found
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition: Ancient Navigators and the Modern World
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition Photos: Strange and Beautiful Algae
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition: A Timely Retreat
- Pitcairn Islands Expedition: Escape From Oeno Lagoon
Facebook Live Interview
Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala phoned in from Pitcairn to give an update on the expedition and answered questions from Facebook fans around the world.
Pristine Sea Expeditions
National Geographic and Oceana, in collaboration with the Chilean Navy, travelled to the remote Salas y Gómez Island, some 200 miles (about 323 km) east of Easter Island, Chile.
In September 2009, Enric Sala, Sylvia Earle, and a team of scientists gathered in Costa Rica to document the pristine waters of Cocos Island and study the Gemelas Seamounts.
During the spring of 2009, Enric Sala and a team of scientists returned to the central Pacific-this time to the southern Line Islands, a province of the Republic of Kiribati.
In 2005 and 2007, Dr. Enric Sala and a team of scientists traveled to the northern Line Islands in the North Pacific.
Pristine Seas Videos
Video: NG Live! Pitcairn Islands
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala dives deep into the waters of one of the most pristine places on Earth—the Pitcairn Islands—only to discover its delicate ecosystem is not as unspoiled as it may seem.
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