Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (05 April 2023)— The National Aquarium is pleased to announce that Pristine Seas: Bringing the Ocean Back, an audio visual exhibition curated by the National Geographic, will open at the aquarium in Al Qana, the liveliest waterfront destination in Abu Dhabi, this Eid (21st April). The exhibition draws upon over a decade worth of global expeditions conducted by the National Geographic Pristine Seas project to document and protect the ocean so it can heal, rebound, and regenerate.
The exhibition highlights the importance of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a mechanism for protecting and restoring the world’s oceans. Through the exhibition’s narrative, photography, and film, visitors will learn how the Pristine Seas team supports Indigenous Peoples, local communities and governments in the creation of MPAs.
Visitors to the National Aquarium will be able to explore the team’s expeditions ranging from the tropical coral reefs of the Southern Line Islands to the icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula. Through stunning imagery and stories that highlight the scientific methods used on these expeditions, the exhibit will showcase Pristine Seas’ continued commitment to protecting ocean life.
In addition to the exhibition, the Aquarium will feature a lecture series by Paul Rose, an accomplished National Geographic Pristine Seas expedition leader, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd at 2pm. Paul is one of the world’s most accomplished science divers, polar explorers and expedition leaders, helping scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet. In these free-to-attend sessions, he will be sharing stories from the expedition and shedding light on the biodiversity and sustainability challenges facing the planet.
Since 2008, the National Geographic Pristine Seas project has carried out 38 expeditions and helped establish 26 marine protected areas covering over 6.5 million sqm of the ocean—an area more than twice the size of India.
“This exhibition is a testament to the Pristine Seas team’s unyielding commitment to safeguard the blue heart of our planet,” said Tony Luckett, National Geographic Society vice president of business development. “The Pristine Seas team combines exploration and rigorous research with powerful storytelling. The goal of this exhibition is to immerse visitors in the beauty of the sea while reiterating why we must preserve it.”
Pristine Seas actively supports the global goal of protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030. Not only will this be beneficial for marine life, but also for communities through fisheries benefits, increased food security, and mitigation of climate change.
“To protect vital ocean places, we need to combine research with compelling visuals to inspire people through both minds and hearts. I am thrilled to bring over a decade of filming and science into the first National Geographic Pristine Seas exhibition,” said Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer in Residence and Pristine Seas Executive Director.
Pristine Seas: Bringing the Ocean Back will be on display at the National Aquarium for two years. Follow Enric Sala on Instagram and Twitter, and Pristine Seas on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on their efforts across the globe.
Paul Hamilton, General Manager at TNA, commented, “We are delighted to collaborate with National Geographic to bring the Pristine Seas Exhibition to the emirate as a part of our shared commitment to raising awareness about protecting our marine environment. The exhibition will not only allow our visitors to learn more about and explore our oceans but also to understand the threats to the survival of these habitats and wider climate change issues. “
“We depend on the ocean for everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe, making it more critical than ever to take responsibility for the wellbeing of our oceans and their biodiversity. That’s why TNA has several initiatives that give you the opportunity to learn about ocean conservation and get involved in our activities. To this end, we have launched the Junior Marine Biologist Program, which is specifically aimed at children aged 5 to 15 and gives them the opportunity to actively participate in the rehabilitation of sea turtles. In addition, all TNA guests are given opportunity to observe the daily activities of the Wildlife Rescue Program and its dedicated veterinarians in action.”