Enric Sala

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Enric Sala
Born (1968-11-26) November 26, 1968 (age 47)
Girona, Spain
Nationality Spain and United States
Fields Marine ecology
Ocean conservation
Institutions National Geographic
Alma mater Ph.D. University of Aix-Marseille II, France, 1996
B.Sc. University of Barcelona, 1991
Notable awards Oceana's Ocean Hero Award (2015), Environmental Media Association Hero Award (2014), Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (2014), Lowell Thomas Award (2013), Spanish Geographical Society Research Award (2013), Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum, Davos (2008)
Blue Ocean Institute Award (2008)
Emerging Explorer, National Geographic Society (2007)
Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation (2006)
Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow (2005)

Dr. Enric Sala is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence actively engaged in exploration, research, and communications to advance ocean conservation. He created the Pristine Seas Project to identify, study, and protect the last wild places in the ocean. His over 120 scientific publications are widely recognized and used for conservation efforts such as the creation of marine reserves. Sala’s present goals are to help protect the last pristine marine ecosystems worldwide, and to develop new business models for marine conservation. He conducts expeditions to some of the most remote places in the ocean, to carry out the first comprehensive scientific surveys of these pristine areas to obtain a baseline of what the ocean used to be like. He also produces documentary films and other media to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy ocean, and to inspire country leaders to create large marine reserves.

Working with key conservation organizations, Enric helped to inspire the creation of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, USA; the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, Chile; the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, Palau; the Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park, Chile; the Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve, UK; the Southern Line Islands Marine Reserve, Kiribati; Gabon's system of marine parks; and the Seamounts Marine Managed Area, Costa Rica. In all, the Project has helped protect 3 million square kilometers of ocean territory. Formerly he was a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California (2000–2007) and at Spain's National Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) (2007–2008).

He assembled a group of scientists and sailed for the northern Line Islands, a remote cluster of coral outcrops in the Pacific. They diced and studied the reefs; and discovered that natural predators accounted for roughly 85 percent of the local biomass. He also studied the Franz Josef Land, a nature reserve.[1]

TV Films[edit]

  • Russia’s Far North (NatGeo Wild, 2015)
  • Wild Gabon (Nat Geo Wild, 2014)
  • Sharks of Lost Island (NatGeo Wild, 2013)
  • Lost Sharks of Easter Island (NatGeo Wild, 2012)
  • Secrets of the Mediterranean: Cousteau's Lost World (NatGeo Wild, 2011)
  • Shark Island (NatGeo Wild, 2010)
  • Journey to Shark Eden (National Geographic Channel, 2009)


  1. ^ Quammen,David (2015). The Meaning of North. National Geographic. pp. 90–115. 

External links[edit]

  • A Marine Ecologist Strives to Protect the Seas - New York Times
  • Enric Sala: Glimpses of a Pristine Ocean - TED Talk
  • National Geographic Pristine Seas
  • National Geographic’s Enric Sala is a man on a mission - Washington Post
  • Coral reefs and what ruins them - New York Times
  • Enric Sala: Saving the world's oceans one at a time - CNN
  • Underwater 'Indiana Jones' trying to save the oceans - BBC
  • Twitter: @Enric_Sala