6 Ships Blog

Rapa Expedition – Protecting earth’s beauty step by step

Bremen - January 07, 2015

Back in October 2014 we had the pleasure to have the Pristine Seas team of National Geographic on board of our Hanse Explorer. The Pristine Seas project under the direction of Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala is determined to assist with the protection of the ocean’s last wild places.

The roots of this particular expedition lie with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who wanted to establish a Marine Protected Area. This basically means that 20 percent of French Waters around the world shall be protected from fishing and other exploitation. To get a step closer to the realization of this challenging project the Pristine Seas Team travelled to the southernmost islands of French Polynesia: Rapa Iti and Marotiri. Where Rapa Iti is inhabited by an autonomous community, Marotiri only consists of some rocky islets.

The Pristine Seas team was completed by members of Pew and CRIOBE (Le Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de L’Environnement de Polynésie Française).

Different teams – different focuses. While some did get into contact with the community of Rapa who shared their thoughts and introduced the team to the unique concept of Rahui, others did focus on the world below the waterline. Life in the blue has been discovered by using special camera and film techniques which helped the scientists to improve their understanding of this world a little bit better.

Interested in learning more about this adventurous expedition? Then you should have a look at the blog of National Geographic where the team does not only share their experiences and thoughts, but also some breathtaking pictures.