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Maldives and Seychelles announce a major joint marine research expedition to explore and conserve the Indian Ocean February 14,2020   |  Source: State House

Midnight Zone’ is a 35-day mission to support the sustainable governance of the Seychelles and Maldivian ocean including the protection of 629,000 km2. A team of 50 international scientists, technicians, media and crew will be carrying out research to gather critical data to define conservation and management priorities and the designation of Marine Protected Areas. The expedition starts in Seychelles on March 16th 2020.

Research is focussed on seamounts in the Midnight Zone. The Midnight Zone describes ocean depths between 1000metres and 4000metres. Whilst biomass peaks in surface waters, biodiversity peaks within the Midnight Zone. The expedition will undertake the first research of seamounts in this area of the Indian Ocean. With high levels of biological endemism, seamounts are often described as ‘undersea Galapagoses’, home to species found nowhere else on the planet. “A healthy planet needs a healthy ocean. The time to act is now. Seychelles is committed to ocean conservation and by the end of March, we will have 30% of our waters established as protected areas. Seychelles are demonstrating the scientific and economic case for sustainable ocean management and protection and we are delighted that other nations, like the Maldives, are taking leadership” said

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