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The expedition was part of Pristine Seas, National Geographic’s largest initiative dedicated to environmental preservation, founded by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala in 2008. Learn more: natgeo.org/pristineseas

National Geographic marine ecologist Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore and help save the last wild places in the ocean. The goal: Protect 20 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020. These unique ecosystems are a window into the past, revealing what the ocean looked like before overfishing and pollution took their toll. It is essential that we let the world know that these places exist, that they are threatened, and that help is needed to protect them.