Over the past 60 years, Blancpain has fulfilled its commitment to the underwater world through its inexhaustible contribution to marine knowledge and the magnificent display of the mysterious deep sea. For this reason, Blancpain supports a number of major scientific research efforts, including the three successful Coelacanth Expedition Research project led by Laurent Ballesta. Funded by € 250,000 from the sale of Blancpain’s “Mind the Ocean” limited edition watch, it has provided Lauren Ballesta and his team with strong support in the forefront.
In 2014, the second coelacanth expedition research project was launched. Laurent Ballesta’s team went to the southern channel of Fakaravaatoll in French Polynesia to observe the Pacific grouper (Epinephelus Polyphecadion). An annual mysterious breeding in the middle of the ocean passage. In this survey, researchers were pleasantly surprised to see an extremely rare and spectacular sight-a huge shark group consisting of 400-700 Grey Reef Sharks (Carcharhinusamblyrhynchos), the largest scale ever observed by humans. The team used 2000 high-resolution imaging instruments per second to capture detailed images of Pacific grouper breeding and the intensity of the shark’s nocturnal activity. At the same time, they also occasionally observed the shark’s night hunting strategy. If this strategy is finally proven, it will undoubtedly be a challenge to our existing knowledge of marine life. Blancpain therefore decided to fund an additional 250,000 euros for the coelacanth team to carry out a new scientific project on grey reef shark hunting habits. This money was donated from the first limited edition watch.
The project was launched in June-July 2016. During the first 35 days of exploration, the diver was deep in the shark group center. Through a total of 200 hours of night diving operations, the expected agreement was completed and monitoring equipment was installed to detect and observe the life of the huge shark group. Habits. In the second phase of the 2017 project, the team will provide more accurate images, verify a variety of scientific inferences, and propose to give more protection to this biodiversity research hotspot.
In fact, even if the grouper large-scale breeding occurs once a year, it is crucial for shark survival throughout the year and plays a decisive role in the balance and stability of the lagoon ecosystem.
Blancpain is passionate about the project, its scientific relevance, and the acquisition of spectacular images. This enthusiasm stems from the long-term brand spirit. Blancpain has always inspired long-term innovative research, not short-term, temporary, superficial adventures. What’s so exciting about this project is that it is deeply rooted in exploration and research for four consecutive years-from the second Coelacanth Expedition Research project in 2014 to Blancpain’s “Mind in the Ocean” limited edition watch funding The second phase of this project in 2017. Blancpain and Laurent Ballesta did not stop their footsteps, and under the framework of the ‘Hearts and Oceans’ framework agreement, they joined hands with Luc Jacquet, director of the ‘Emperor Penguin Diary’, to take third ‘Coelacanth Expedition Research’ Antarctic Journey! This is the first time that the Adélie Land Glacier in Antarctica has welcomed a team of professional divers to visit the bottom of the ice floes. Each of their dives is unprecedented, not only representing the new achievements of human beings to challenge the limits, but also interpreting new breakthroughs in the professional diving field, and will for the first time present the natural original appearance of the Antarctic deep-sea ecosystem. The coelacanth expedition research team will work on the relationship between deep-sea fauna resources and climate change, and will provide all imaging data for scientific publications. At that time, the public will see a fairy-tale dreamlike underwater world through a documentary produced by ARTE at the end of 2016. Earlier, ARTE produced Rencontre avec le Cœlacanthe – Plongée vers nos Origines-A Meeting with the Coelacanth – Diving to Meet our Origins. ) And Le Mystère Mérou-The Mystery Grouper, ‘Second Coelacanth Expedition Research’, both of which have been well received by the public and experts and won several international awards.