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Nekton Mission I: Discovering the Rariphotic Zone

Nekton Mission I - XL Catlin Deep Ocean Survey - is a major scientific marine research expedition to investigate ocean function, health, and resilience across the Northwest Atlantic and focused on Bermuda.

Over 80 scientists participated from 12 marine research institutes to discover dozens of new species in Bermudian mesophotic and rariphotic depths (30m-300m) ranging from small cryptofauna to wide spread coverage of a new black coral species standing up to 2m high. The team documented the deepest recorded evidence of Lionfish globally – revealing the spread of this invasive species deeper into the ocean than previously known. A total of 20 scientific peer-reviewed papers are being published, all data is open-sourced and all specimens are retained in Bermuda and curated in the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.

The Mission received global attention promoting and captivating an audience of 750million with the wonders of Bermuda and the previously undiscovered deep ocean. Media coverage included from the BBC, PBS, Forbes, Telegraph, New Scientist, Guardian, Sky News, Geographical. With Sirius XM, the Mission carried out the deepest live radio show in history. The Mission also launched a new educational programme - Submarine STEM with new resources and dynamic 360 VR films all distributed freely across Bermuda and reaching 1million young people globally.

Capacity Development has been a core objective of the Mission and Bermudians have been at the heart of the Mission across scientific research and publications, global media and education engagement.

Nekton would like to thank our partners from the Bermuda Government Department of the Environment & Natural Resources, Department of Education, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS), Bermuda Tourism Board, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI), CITV (Bermuda National Broadcaster), Bermuda Royal Gazette along with schools across country.