Departing from San Jose Del Cabo, the expedition promises to be an exciting and unique adventure. Become an explorer on this rarely visited, forbidden and uninhabited atoll where marine life is abundant and surprising. Join scientists in their quest to unlock the mysteries of shark migration routes in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Islands.
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 on such a remote island as well as the presence of large predators. We will tag and track several species of sharks during this optimum period of migration. An International team of scientists will be onboard. We hope to document the presence of sharks and other large animals around the atoll and identify potential threats to better preserve this vital resource.
Furthermore, if scientists are able to confirm their theories with the data collected, the outcome could eventually be the creation of a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
During the expedition, we will also dive the Socorro Islands to compare both ecosystems.
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. Published photojournalists, guest speakers at major dive conferences and short film producers, they have concentrated their efforts on building grass roots support for ocean related issues.
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.
Dr. James Ketchum / Pelagios Kakunja
James has studied sharks and migratory pelagic species since 1996, particularly whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and dolphinfish in the Gulf of California and Eastern Tropical Pacific. James holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis, where he studied the movement patterns and habitat use of scalloped hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands. His publications about hammerheads and whale sharks constitute pioneering work in Mexico and Ecuador. He participated in the first telemetric studies of sharks in Cocos, Malpelo, Galapagos and Revillagigedo islands, collaborating in the establishment of an array of 100 acoustic receivers in the region. James is co-founder of Migramar, an international network of research and conservation institutions that jointly study the dynamics of sharks and other pelagics in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
James is also co-founder of Pelagios Kakunjá, a Mexican non-profit organization that seeks to conserve sharks and pelagic species by understanding their movements, migratory patterns and population dynamics in the Mexican Pacific. He works closely with the Mexican Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) and other agencies to improve the effectiveness of marine reserves for the conservation of sharks in Mexico. More recently, James has been leading studies on different shark species at Cabo Pulmo Marine Park and the Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve, where he is assessing the relevance of no-take zones for the conservation of sharks and the effects of scuba diving on the abundance and behavior of these marine top predators.
Scientific Advisor 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).
Scientist, Shark Expert and Political Advisor
She is a Marine Biologist who graduated from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (France), with a Master's Degree in Life and Earth Sciences in Perpignan (France). A professional Diver with more than 7,000 open water dives, Sandra Bessudo is very committed to conservation and environmental protection. As Director of the Malpelo and Other Marine ecosystems Foundation, she was active in the creation of the MPA of the Malpelo Sanctuary. Supported by James Ketchum, in the Malpelo Sanctuary, she started a regional investigation program in satellite and acoustic telemetry for sharks. With Galapagos and Cocos investigators, they created a group of scientists known as MIGRAMAR. She oversees several Research projects on sharks using acoustic and satellite telemetry.
Sandra served as Coordinator of workshops and lectures in Colombia for the International Year of the Oceans. She has independently produced dozens of publications, videos and specialized documentaries.
Dora and Fransico Sandoval / Quino El Guardian
Dora and her husband Francisco (everyone calls him "Lolo") are the founders of Quino El Guardian. Lolo has been diving for 20+ years, and Dora for 10+. Dora is also a dive Instructor. The ship came to Puerto Peñasco all the way up from the Panama Canal. They spent many months redesigning it into a scuba diving scientific expedition vessel. It is now ready to go out and explore on it’s new mission: protecting the ocean one charter at a time. The boat serves conservation, investigation and educational missions. It is also a plateform for private and unique charters.
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 forbidden 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 behavioral studies.
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.
Beer and wine
Optional nitrox package : $120
Marine park fees: $28
Hyperbaric chamber fees : $15
San Jose Del Cabo Marina
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. The island has no permanent inhabitants since 1945.
Since February 3rd, 2008, a special authorization is required to anchor in the 8 nautical mile zone around the atoll.