In 2016 the XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey was Nekton’s first multidisciplinary scientific research Mission to investigate the state of the ocean around Bermuda, the Sargasso Sea and the North West Atlantic.

The Mission was supported by 40 partners including the Bermuda and Canadian Governments, UNESCO, 12 marine institutes, 5 media and 6 technology partners..

The Mission successfully led to the Government of Bermuda committing to protecting at least 20% of their ocean territory. Marine spatial planning began in 2020.


  1. Scientific Research: i) Create a new standardised framework for deep ocean biological research and ii) a new baseline of the state of the ocean around Bermuda and the NW Atlantic Ocean.
  2. Knowledge Exchange: Provide grants and opportunities for leadership and involvement in expedition operations across marine science, conservation and ocean management in Bermuda and the NW Atlantic.
  3. Public Engagement: Promote the research and protection of the ocean.
  4. Education: Create and launch a new freely distributed educational programme Submarine STEM.
  5. Policy: Engage support for improved ocean management around Bermuda providing the data needed to accelerate ocean policy changes.


  • Field Research: 14 July - 15th August 2016
  • Taxonomic Acceleration Workshop (Bermuda): November 2016
  • Data Analysis & Publication: September 2016 - August 2018
  • Nekton Protocol Workshop (Oxford): March 2017
  • Protocol Announcement (Our Ocean Conference): October 2017
  • Analysis and publications: from February 2017
  • Presentation of Results to Government of Bermuda: May 2018

Download cruise report here.