Enric Sala

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Enric Sala
Born (1968-11-26) November 26, 1968 (age 51)
NationalitySpain and United States
Alma materPh.D. University of Aix-Marseille II, France, 1996
B.Sc. University of Barcelona, 1991
AwardsHeinz Award in Public Policy (2018), 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)
Scientific career
FieldsMarine ecology
Ocean conservation
InstitutionsNational Geographic

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.[1] 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. Sala also wrote the book, Pristine Seas: Journeys to the Ocean's Last Wild Places, published in 2015.[1]

Working with key conservation organizations, Sala 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; the Seamounts Marine Managed Area, Costa Rica; the Darwin and Wolf Marine Sanctuary, Galapagos; the expansion of the Russian Arctic National Park around Franz Josef Land and the expansion of the Malpelo Reserve, Colombia.[1] In all, the Pristine Seas project has helped protect more than 3 million square kilometers of ocean territory.[1]

Formerly, Sala 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).

During expeditions to the Northern Line Islands, Sala and his team of scientists discovered that natural predators accounted for roughly 85 percent of the local biomass.[2] He also studied the Franz Josef Land, a nature reserve.[3]

In 2018, Sala received the 23rd Annual Heinz Award in Public Policy.

TV films[edit]

  • Russia’s Far North (NatGeo Wild, 2015)
  • Africa's Wild Coast (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. ^ a b c d Society, National Geographic. "Pristine Seas". www.nationalgeographic.org.
  2. ^ DeMartini, E.E.; Friedlander, A.M.; Sandin, S.A.; Sala, E. (2008). "Differences in fish-assemblage structure between fished and unfished atolls in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific". Marine Ecology Progress Series. 365: 199–215. doi:10.3354/meps07501.
  3. ^ Quammen,David (2015). The Meaning of North. National Geographic. pp. 90–115.

External links[edit]