Pristine Seas

Seychelles Expedition

Picture of a marble ray underwater

Photograph by Manu San Felix

Situated just north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are a remote archipelago of 115 islands. Though the islands are known as a celebrity vacation destination, they hold natural treasures far greater in value. The outer Seychelles islands are home to pristine miniature worlds that contain untouched habitats teeming with wildlife.

In its first expedition of 2015, the Pristine Seas team journeyed to the island groups of Aldabra and Cosmoledo within the Seychelles to explore their unknown marine environments. This international team of scientists and filmmakers measured and illuminated the abundance of marine life from the smallest to the largest organisms—from microbes to megafauna.

The government of the Seychelles now has an opportunity to protect their unique marine assets and could create the Indian Ocean's second largest marine reserve. With the exception of a previous study at Aldabra Atoll, no comprehensive marine resource assessment had been conducted at these distant locations. Given their low human populations and limited fishing pressure, remote islands like the Aldabra and Cosmoledo groups offer ideal opportunities for understanding the resilience of reef ecosystems as they face increasing global threats.

The Pristine Seas team conducted this expedition in partnership with the Government of the Seychelles, the Island Conservation Society (ICS), the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF), and the Waitt Foundation.

Follow the expedition through live updates on Voices, and on social media using #PristineSeas.

Twitter: @NatGeoExplorers & @Paul_Rose

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