"How the Indian Ocean changes in the coming years will profoundly affect the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of 2.7billion of us living in the region. Nekton's work in the Indian Ocean is galvanising action to ensure we restore the health and prosperity of our ocean and our blue economies".

H.E. Danny Faure, President of Seychelles

The Indian Ocean is currently the least scientifically known and least protected ocean on Earth. It is warming three times faster than the Pacific Ocean and as coastal states continue to grow, it is increasingly threatened by worsening pollution, rapid coastal development and unsustainable exploitation of marine life.

With an average age of under 30, by 2050, ‘the Ocean of the Future’ will be home to half of the world’s population.

First Descent is a series of expeditions to explore, protect and restore it's health for the benefit of the planet, the climate and the people who rely on it for their lives, jobs and food security.

Each Mission combines commitments to ocean protection, research to inform ocean policy, knowledge exchange and inspirational communications to strengthen the public mandate for political action.


▪ 2018-2020: Comores (Pathfinder)

▪ 2018-2021: Seychelles (Field Operations: 2019)

▪ 2019-2023: Maldives (Field Operations 2022)

▪ 2023-2024: Deep Sea Science Course & MOOC with University of Seychelles

▪ 2023-2025: Western Indian Ocean: Resilience & Prosperity Initiative

Policy & Strategic Outcome: Western Indian Ocean: Resilience & Prosperity Initiative

Building on the Missions to Comores, Seychelles and Maldives, along with strengthen knowledge and capacity for ocean sciences through the new deep sea science course for regional scientists, the Western Indian Ocean: Resilience and Prosperity Initiative (WIO-RPI) is establishing the first regional ocean policy, supported by an initial 5 year implementation strategy.

The WIO-RPI is co-created with all 10 nations of the WIO and endorsed as a programme of the UNEP’s Nairobi Convention.

The partners are:

  • Lead Government partner: Government of Seychelles
  • Implementing Partner: The Danny Faure Foundation
  • Project architects and Technical Partner: Nekton

Further details