Departing from San Jose Del Cabo, the expedition promises to be an exciting and unique adventure. Become an explorer on this rarely visited, forbidding and uninhabited atoll where marine life is abundant and surprising. Join scientists in their quest to unlock the mysteries of shark migration routes between the islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Islands and their marine debris study.
Our expedition to Clipperton will be conducted under special permit delivered by French authorities. Only a handful of expeditions have obtained this authorization during the past 10 years, most of which were French-lead scientific expeditions.
The objective of the expedition will be to document human impact and evolution of the ecosystem on such a remote island, document the presence of sharks and other large animals around the atoll and identify potential threats to better preserve this vital resource. We will tag and track several species of sharks during this period of migration. A team of scientists and international members will be onboard.
On September 15, 2016, France announced the creation of a MPA, recognizing the need to protect this remote atoll. If, with the data collected, scientists are able to confirm their theories on shark movements, the conclusions could lead to the enlargement of this new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The ultimate ambition would be the creation of a corridor of protection with other countries such as Costa Rica, Columbia, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico and the listing of the area as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
During the expedition, we will also dive the Socorro Islands to have a chance to observe large animals like Manta rays, sharks, dolphins and whales.
Another study of interest has been added. A marine debris survey will be conducted by Meaghan Sorce, associated with Harvard University, and Sean Rothwell, with the New England Aquarium. The core of the study will be a marine debris census, the recording and GPS positioning of items, photographing, identifying, and the creation of a visual map of the findings. Along with this study, a beach cleanup will be conducted to eliminate, as much as possible, debris that poses an immediate threat to wildlife (especially marine life and birds). Lastly, an underwater census with photos of long lines and sunken marine debris, will be conducted to assess the state of the underwater reef surrounding Clipperton.
Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet / N2Pix
Canadians Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet are co-owners of N2Pix. Julie and Michel decided to go off the beaten path in 2007, leaving the corporate world behind, choosing the ocean. They are the previous owners of a PADI 5-Star IDC. Their intense passion for scuba diving and the underwater world has led them to the four corners of the world and now into underwater photography and filmmaking. N2Pix specializes in underwater imagery and scuba travel and expeditions. Largely influenced by the need to protect the ocean, lately their work has focused on shark conservation. They have concentrated their efforts on building grass roots support for ocean related issues.
Published photojournalists, guest speakers at major dive conferences, short film producers as well as accomplished instructors and technical divers. Both are Fellows of the Explorers Club and Associate members of the Boston Sea Rovers. Michel is also a PADI Ambassador and a DAN Examiner.
Lead Scientist and Shark Expert
Pr. Eric Clua
Professor Clua is a French expert in shark behavioral ecology with an emphasis on attacks on humans (forensic) and shark conservation. He graduated as a Doctor in Veterinary medecine from the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse (France) in 1989. He received a Master's degree from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (France) in 2000 and his PhD with honors from the same University in 2004. He also graduated from the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales in 1991. He is presently the Scientific Advisor for the High Commissioner of the French Republic.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Dr. Clua is also a Professional diver Class 1B, a National Instructor for Free-diving and a skilled underwater photographer / underwater video cameraman. As a filmmaker, his productions have been seen worldwwide. He also acts as an Expert in Forensic and legal Medicine (Shark attacks).
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos / Pelagios Kakunja
Mauricio has always had a passion for shark conservation and has dedicated his professional life to understanding the behavior of sharks. He began his career studying shark nurseries and reproductive biology, becoming and expert in this field early on. Mauricio holds a Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from CICIMAR-IPN, where he studied the movement patterns of white sharks in Guadalupe Island, carrying out the first studies of this species in Mexico. Currently his work has focused on investigating the behavior of 10 shark species in different areas all across Mexico, including Guadalupe Island, Revillagigedo Archipelago, Clipperton Atoll, and the Mexican Caribbean. Mauricio has remained active in shark conservation, outreach and education, giving talks to groups as young as elementary school children as well as high school and university students, and the general public. His goal is to change the misconception of sharks as “killing machines” in the human mind.
He is the co-founder of Pelagios Kakunjá, a Mexican non-profit organization led by a group of marine biologists that have dedicated their work to the conservation of sharks and pelagic species in Mexican waters through research, public outreach, and education. He is also a collaborating scientist on the board of many different shark conservation foundations. As a rising star in the world of marine science, Mauricio has also consulted on many commercial productions, collaborating with different film companies, including BBC, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
Marine Debris Scientists
Meaghan Sorce and Sean Rothwell / Harvard University
Meaghan’s fascination with sharks began at a young age, and quickly developed into an obsession with all sea life. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at Harvard University, with a concentration in Ecosystems. For her thesis she is researching New England marine debris issues, particularly pertaining to policy, as well as inadequacies and gaps in management practices. Her work with marine debris began when she started leading beach cleanups through the New England Aquarium’s liveblue™ Service Initiative. She has since worked on a variety of projects focused on marine debris and sea turtle conservation, with organizations such as the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Mass Audubon, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Sean graduated from the University of Kansas, where he studied behavioral psychology. His passion for marine life took him from the Kansas flats to the New England coasts. Here, he began working with Meaghan on large scale beach cleanups, and has been her partner in fighting the threat of marine debris ever since. He is currently a member of the New England Aquarium Marine Mammal staff, where his primary role is pinniped husbandry and enrichment. Through his work, he hopes to inspire ocean stewardship, and promote a healthy environment for animals living in human care and the natural world.
Why join us
This is a rare opportunity to dive Clipperton as well as the Socorro Islands during shark and whale migration season. The trip will offer the chance to get rare images of Clipperton Atoll, a forbidding and off the beaten path destination.
Also, as participants in this citizen science program, you will learn how to photo-ID, tag and take skin samples from sharks, learn about their biology and ecology, assist scientists in the censusing of sharks and participate in the marine debris survey and beach cleanup.
Dive and Liveaboard Package
We will dive the Socorro (Revillagigedos) Islands and Clipperton Atoll. You will have the chance to help scientists in their research.
Prices are in USD. Valid until Dec. 1st, 2016.
5-6 days of diving in Clipperton
1-2 days of diving in Socorro
Port fees : $65
Nitrox : $150
San Jose Del Cabo Marina
Price (early bird special)
$5 299/qo.occ. (Shared room) - FULL
$5 299/do.occ. (Standard room) - 2 spots left
$5 799/do.occ. (Superior room) - 2 spots left
$6 499/do.occ. (Premium Suite) - 2 spots left
The History of Clipperton
Over the course of the island’s modern history, four different nations; France, the United States, Britain, and Mexico have fought for ownership of Clipperton (Ile de la Passion). It was desirable both for its strategic position and for its surface layer of guano.
Its English name comes from John Clipperton, an English pirate and privateer who may have used it as a base for his raids.
In 1906 Mexico established a colony under the orders of Ramon Arnaud to reassert its claim of ownership.
By 1914 around 100 people, men, women and children, were living on the island but by 1917 all but one of the male inhabitants had died. Lighthouse keeper Victoriano Alvarez was the last man on the island, together with 15 women and children. Alvarez proclaimed himself "king" and began an orgy of rape and murder, before being killed by Tirza Rendon, one of his victims. Survivors were rescued by an American ship in July 1917.
Clipperton was reclaimed by France in 1931. There have been no permanent inhabitants on the island since 1945.
Since February 3rd, 2008, a special authorization is required to anchor in the 12 nautical mile zone around the atoll.
On September 15th, 2016 France announced the creation of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) around the atoll. Its size is equivalent to the territorial waters (12 nautical miles).