The Mission

In March 2020 Nekton launches First Descent: Midnight Zone.

The Mission is in partnership with the Governments of Seychelles and the Maldives.

Nekton’s ambition is to work with Governments in the Indian Ocean to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. We can’t protect what we don’t know.

Research is focused on a series of unexplored seamounts in Seychelles and the Maldives and the High Seas of the central Indian Ocean.

The Objectives

  • Applied Research: To contribute to establishing a baseline of marine life and the state of the ocean in Seychelles, the Maldives and the High Seas of the central Indian Ocean.
  • Ocean Governance: To support the sustainable governance of the Seychelles and Maldivian ocean including the protection of 629,000 km2. The Mission will undertake research to gather critical data to define conservation and management priorities and the designation of Marine Protected Areas.
  • Public Engagement: To inspire and engage Seychelles, Maldivian, Indian Ocean and international audiences with the scientific exploration of Seychelles and the Maldives’ unknown deep ocean and promote the Seychelles and the Maldives as a beacon of leadership in ocean conservation, management and the sustainable blue economy.
  • Knowledge sharing: To support the development of the leadership, tools, skills, knowledge and networks within Seychelles and the Maldives to empower long-term sustainable ocean governance.

The Aquanaut Programme

Scientists from Seychelles and the Maldives will undertake First Descents in the mission's two person's submersible, Limiting Factor.