First Descent is a series of expeditions to explore and conserve the world’s most unknown and least protected ocean, The Indian Ocean.

Nekton's Missions combine scientific research, capacity development, ocean governance and public engagement. Our work is co-developed hand in hand with host nations. Nekton is an independent not-for-profit research institute working in collaboration with the University of Oxford. We are a member of the Blue Prosperity Coalition.

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Featured Video

09 May 2019

First Descent: Seychelles Mission Trailer

Our groundbreaking 48 day mission created a new baseline of data of the marine life and ocean health in the Seychelles. The data gathered will inform the Seychelles Marine Spatial Plan which has committed to protecting an ambitious 30% of their ocean territory by 2020. You can find out more here.

CONSERVATION THROUGH EXPLORATION

Our ocean is undergoing rapid ecological transformation by human activities

The scientific consensus is that we must have an enforced protected area covering at least 30% protection of the ocean by 2030 to support a resilient ocean and a resilient planet.

The Mission began in Seychelles in March 2019. At least 50 first descents are planned to dive into the unknown depths to generate critical data to support Seychelles’ commitment to protect 30% of their national waters by 2020, equivalent to nearly twice the size of the entire United Kingdom. Seychelles are a beacon for ocean conservation.

First Descent deploys a raft of new cutting-edge research, sampling, survey and video technologies from our state-of-the-art submersibles and remote operated vehicles. First Descent is broadcast live from our submersibles and Mothership and distributed globally.

Mission Partners

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Strategic Partners:

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Collaborating Partners:

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