Press Release

National Geographic Pristine Seas Announced as an Earthshot Finalist

Winners to be Announced on October 17

September 17, 2021—Today, the Royal Foundation announced National Geographic Pristine Seas as one of three finalists for the first-ever “Revive Our Ocean” Earthshot. The Earthshot Prize is designed to incentivize change and help repair our planet over the next ten years.

National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala launched the Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore, document and help inspire the protection of the ocean. Since 2008, Pristine Seas has completed 32 expeditions around the world and has helped inspire the creation of 24 marine reserves, protecting over 6.5 million square kilometers of ocean — an area more than twice the size of India. Over the next 10 years, Pristine Seas will work with local communities, governments and partners to establish 40 new marine protected areas and catalyze the global community to protect at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.

“Our goal for Pristine Seas has always been to conserve the ocean. Science has shown us that we need to protect at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030 in order to restore marine life, increase our seafood supply, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Enric Sala. “It is an honor to be recognized as one of the finalists for the first-ever Earthshot Prize. This recognition gives us additional support to achieve our ambitious goal to preserve our ocean for future generations.”

“We are honored to be recognized by the Royal Foundation as an Earthshot finalist. It is imperative that ambitious projects like Pristine Seas that focus on preserving our natural environment, that have real impact are recognized and given the opportunity to achieve their goals,” said National Geographic Society Chief Science and Innovation Officer Ian Miller.

Winning the Earthshot Prize would not only scale Pristine Seas conservation goals, but also educate a new generation of leaders and educators around the world. The inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards will be broadcast globally on October 17th.

About National Geographic Pristine Seas

National Geographic Pristine Seas is an exploration, research and media project founded and led by National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala. The Pristine Seas team is comprised of determined scientists, policy experts and filmmakers who work to inspire the creation of protected areas where marine life can thrive—while ensuring effective management for years to come. Pristine Seas has helped to inspire the creation of 24 marine reserves, an area totalling over 6.5M square kilometers. Learn more at

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.