Mission Achievements

1. WORLD-CLASS MULTIDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

With the aid of the research ships, Baseline Explorer and CCGS Hudson, two Triton submersibles and one remotely operated vehicle (ROV), our scientific teams and a team of technical divers, undertook systematic research and exploration of the North West Atlantic Ocean including Bermuda and the Sargasso Sea:

  • 13 different research tools deployed.
  • 400+ submarine hours underwater.
  • Collection and analysis of 40,000 specimens and samples, 15,000 litres of water, 240 video transects and 92miles of geophysical data.
  • Discovery of new biological hotspot, a major mesophotic subsea forest, only 30 miles off Bermuda and many new species incl. corals, algae and tanaid fauna.
  • Documented deepest recorded evidence of lionfish in Bermuda and the Atlantic.
  • Rediscovery of a sea star, not seen in Bermuda for almost 100 years.
  • All scientific research and findings, including data and maps, to be shared at an official ceremony with the Bermuda Government in Bermuda in May 2018.

At least 17 scientific papers are being finalised and submitted throughout 2017 for peer review with the launch of the synthesis of scientific discoveries at the Ocean Risk Conference in Bermuda (May 2018).

See here for details of all publications.

2. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT & ACCELERATING SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY

Post-Mission, the Nekton Oxford Deep Ocean Research Institute was established. Centralised and led by Nekton, this new Institute sits at the heart of a network of international laboratories collaborating to achieve rapid sample and specimen analysis, data processing and publication.

  • 60 scientists involved in research and analysis from 11 nations.
  • 6 Research Grants to support scientist’s involvement.
  • Multidisciplinary leadership: across Geophysics, water chemistry, physical oceanography, taxonomy, biology, ecology, genetics.
  • Established a new network of 9 international laboratories to accelerate data analysis and multiply impact.
  • Pioneered new scientific adaptations for submersibles and divers including water sampling and stereo-video systems and new machine learning techniques to analyse video transects.
  • Creation and publication of a pioneering standardized framework for marine research to enable global comparative analysis of ocean function and health (publication in October 2017).

3. GLOBAL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT & EDUCATION 

  • 750 million audience reach: (July 2016 - June 2017) with Tier 1 Media - BBC, Telegraph, New Scientist, Guardian, Sky News, Forbes, PBS, Geographical, Sirius XM and Huffington Post (figures independently audited by our partners) 
  • World-class content: Content highlights include 30-minute documentary, 2 X 360-degree mini-documentaries, 11 x video reports, 10 X 360-degree short films and a record breaking deepest live radio show ever broadcast (with Sirius XM).
  • New educational programme: Submarine STEM launched globally with educational resources created in partnership with Digital Explorer and aligned to the UK curricula. Content includes lesson plans, 9 new educational films and dynamic 360-degree films.
  • Major ocean events: 20 Keynote speeches at major events globally showcasing the Mission including at UN’s COP22, World Conservation Congress (opened by President Obama), Our Ocean (hosted by Secretary John Kerry), Blue Ocean Film Festival, Royal Geographical Society, Oxford Martin School, London Night of Adventure, Institute of Marine Science, Engineering & Technology, Hull City of Culture, Explorers Club (NYC) and many others.

4. CATALYSING OCEAN POLICY

  • New Protected Areas: The transect data from the Kelvin Seamount on habitat and species presence has been used by NW Atlantic Fisheries Organisation to inform improved stewardship.
  • Bermuda’s ocean stewardship: The research and local public engagement has been credited with energising public and political support for a major new marine management initiative.
  • UNESCO Global Launch: Managed and delivered the global launch of UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage in the High Seas’ from the Nekton Mission in Bermuda.
  • New Global Ocean Conference: Nekton helped inspire and is now supporting a new global ocean-related conference (‘Ocean Risk’) to be held in Bermuda in May 2018.
  • Regional and global policy: a series of actionable datasets from the Mission will inform policy development with the IUCN, High Seas Alliance, Deep Sea Conservation Coalition, United Nations (High Seas & Climate Change).