World Oceans Day

In November – December 2022 the RRS Discovery travelled 9000 miles to the remote islands of Ascension and St Helena. Run as part of the UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme, this scientific expedition visited areas of previously uncharted ocean within the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of these south Atlantic islands. Introduced by international musician and environmentalist Ellie Goulding, this documentary tells the story of this landmark expedition. Known as DY159, this scientific survey mapped areas of seabed kilometres below the surface, collected samples of deep-sea species potentially new to science, and uncovered huge populations of Galapagos sharks using shallow-water cameras. All of the scientific data collected was done so in partnership with the Governments of Ascension Island and St Helena, with the specific purpose of informing sustainable management and protection of some of the largest MPAs in the world. Less than 1% of global oceans have been fully explored, at a time when they face increasing pressures from the major threats of climate change, pollution and illegal fishing. Increasing our knowledge of the marine environment is essential to informing its protection.

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