Our Impact - since 2016
ACCELERATING SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY
Through pioneering new technology, collaborative research and fast-tracking of results, we gather, analyse and open-source marine data at speed and scale. Our research is focused on from the surface into the Bathyal Zone (200m to 3000m) – the most biodiverse part of the ocean.
- New Zone of the Ocean: Confirmation of the discovery of the Rariphotic Zone - the Rare Light Zone – in depths from 130m to 300m in the waters around Bermuda. Over 100 new species discovered. Read the Press Release. Coverage including Interview with former Nekton Science Director, Professor Alex Rogers.
- New multi-disciplinary research protocol to study the State of the Ocean – GOSSIP –The General Ocean Survey and Sampling Iterative Protocol (GOSSIP) - that aims to help transform understanding of the distribution patterns of deep sea life – and the environmental factors that influence them. Published in Oceanography.
- Scientific Publications: 8 scientific papers published to date from the Bermuda Mission with 12 more in train. Publications include dozens of new species of algae and the deepest DNA sequenced algae (European Journal of Phycology), new black coral (Zootaxa.), deepest recorded evidence of lionfish in the Caribbean (PeerJ), unreported polychaete diversity and faunal links off Nova Scotia (Deep-Sea Research Part I), depth-related plasticity in colony morphology of the common reef-building scleractinian coral (Ecology) – see full list of publications.
- Publication of new Identification Guide for Bermuda: to aid marine biologists, divers and naturalists with the identification of organisms. Available for free online.
- Curation of all specimens and samples from the Bermuda Mission in collections at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.
MULTI DISCIPLINARY COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH MISSIONS
We work with, and on behalf of host countries – co-developing the objectives and co-leading delivery – combining marine research, ocean governance, knowledge exchange, ocean literacy to maximise and coordinate impact.
- Bermuda & North West Atlantic 2016: Collaborating with scientists from 15 different research institutes, teams of technical divers, two Triton submersibles, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a dozen other research tools were deployed. 400+ submarine hours underwater. Collection and analysis of 40,000 specimens and samples, 240 video transects and 92miles of geophysical data.
- Comores Expedition 2018: Pathfinder to Indian Ocean - in partnership with WildTrust, CORDIO East Africa, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, University of Comoros, with funding provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. ROV deployments to establish initial morphological data to help inform future research in the Indian Ocean.
- Weddell Sea Expedition 2019: in partnership with the Flotilla Foundation, Scott Polar Research Institute, Nelson Mandela University, University of Cape Town and the University of Canterbury – deploying AUVs and ROVs to investigate life beneath the ice and the potential implications of climate change.
- First Descent: Indian Ocean 2019 - 2022: First Descent is a series of expeditions to explore and conserve the world’s most unknown and least protected ocean, the Indian Ocean. The Mission concludes with a State of the Indian Ocean Summit in October 2022 to deliver scientific consensus on the state of the Indian Ocean and to catalyse 30% protection by 2030.
We invest in knowledge exchange initiatives in the host nations where we work to develop the skills, leaderships, networks and expertise to help support ongoing marine research and sustainable ocean governance:
- Six Research Grants to support scientists participating in Bermuda / NW Atlantic Mission.
- Five Deep Blue Grants were awarded with The Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) to fund Seychellois researchers to conduct innovative deep-sea research in Seychelles.
ACTIVATING OCEAN DATA
We make ocean data more accessible to scientists and policy makers to maximise its impact to accelerate marine conservation.
- OcToPUS – the global ocean data portal: Two years in development with the University of Oxford, OcToPUS (The Ocean Tool for Public Understanding of Science) was launched in May 2018. OcToPUS is the world’s first open-sourced global ocean data portal providing a single source to freely access the latest global marine data. OcToPUS dynamically harvests and harmonises open-access marine data including oceanographic observations, biodiversity and human stressors on the ocean. Its objective is to support scientific study and decision-making for the improved management of the ocean. Read interview with Nekton Chief Executive on ocean data.
GLOBAL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT & EDUCATION
We engage new audiences with a story of the positive purpose of exploration of the deep ocean - the last, unknown frontier on the planet, and promoting the human journey into the deep ocean as the next inspirational story of human endeavour.
- Bermuda Mission 2016-2018 reached over global audiences of over 800million 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.
- Connecting with new audiences & introducing ocean comedy: record breaking deepest live radio show ever broadcast (with Sirius XM) with participation from Mark Hamill, David Crosby, John Fugelsang, and Lewis Black from the Daily Show.
- New educational programme: Submarine STEM launched globally with educational resources created in partnership with Encounter EDU and aligned to the UK, Bermuda and other curricula. Content includes lesson plans, 9 new educational films and dynamic 360-degree films. Reached over 1 million young people in first two years.
- Sky Ocean Rescue: Coverage from Bermuda Mission acknowledged as the spark that inspired Sky Plc to create the Sky Ocean Rescue Campaign that was launched in January 2017. https://skyoceanrescue.com
- Major ocean events: 25 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.
- Animated TV Show: Partnered with Technicolor, the producers of the brilliant animated series The Deep – that follows the Nekton family of underwater explorers on their aquatic adventures uncovering the hidden secrets of the sea. The Deep is one of the top rated animated shows globally and BAFTA nominated. Read about the partnership.
CATALYSING OCEAN POLICY
We co-produce policy-relevant data and tools with in-country experts to advance sustainable ocean management - including on distribution of critical habitats and species of conservation importance.
- New Protected Areas: The image data from the Kelvin Seamount on habitat and species presence used by NW Atlantic Fisheries Organisation to help inform improved stewardship.
- Bermuda’s ocean stewardship: Recommendations for new improved management to Bermuda’s EEZ requested by and presented to the Bermudian Government following the Bermuda Mission. The Mission was credited with being the galvanizing force for public and political support for Bermuda’s new ocean management initiative.
- UNESCO Global Launch: Managed and delivered the global launch of UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage in the High Seas’ from the Bermuda Mission.
- New Global Ocean Conference: Catalysed the creation of the Ocean Risk Summit in Bermuda – launched May 2018.