Little was known about the Selvagens’ undersea environment prior to the September 2016 Pristine Seas expedition, launched in partnership with the Waitt Foundation. But over the course of the ten-day expedition, the team found that the open waters around the islands appear to be a vital waypoint for migrating fish and mammals in the Atlantic and that intermediate depths and reefs may serve as important nursery habitat.
To make these assessments, the team conducted what was among the first underwater surveys of the ecosystem—from the shallows to the depths—and filmed the biodiversity around the islands. Using high-tech equipment such as midwater pelagic cameras and drop cams, the team was able to assess pelagic communities and deep-sea habitats in addition to the shallow flora and fauna observed during dives.
Together, the deep and midwater cameras deployed on the expedition captured some of the Pristine Seas project’s most impressive footage of underwater diversity.