WE ARE PROUD TO BE AN OFFICIAL PARTNER OF UNDER THE POLE
By supporting the Under the Pole expedition, a pioneer in underwater research, we are actively participating in the emergence of a more sustainable world. Our support contributes to a better understanding of the oceans and promotes the preservation of our planet for future generations.
COMMIT TO THE FUTURE
The oceans are a resource essential - regulators climate, carbon sinks, fishery resources - and represent the main source of animal protein for a billion human beings. However, it is estimated that humans have only explored 5% of the oceans and that 90% of marine species are still waiting to be discovered.
Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and Explorer
WHO IS THE UNDER THE POLE EXPEDITION AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
Under the Pole is a series of underwater expeditions whose objective is to participate in a better knowledge of the underwater world by studying in particular the impact of global warming on the oceans.
Under The Pole was founded in 2010 by two dedicated adventurers who lead the venture: Ghislain Bardout – an energy systems engineer trained at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He also specialises in deep-sea diving in polar waters and underwater camerawork – and his wife, Emmanuelle Périé-Bardout, a skipper trained at the French national sailing academy and an expert in Polar Regions.
Ghislain Bardout, expedition director of Under The Pole
While the zone ranging from 0 to -50 meters in depth is overexplored, the mesophotic zone or Twilight Zone (-50 to -150 meters) has not yet been explored or little explored. Under The Pole explorations focus on the seabed of the Twilight Zone.
WHY EXPLORE THE TWILIGHT ZONE?
Exploring the twilight zone is looking to better know this resource, which is crucial to us, discovering new species and ecosystems, and better observe the scope of changes it is undergoing. This ocean layer hosts new species to discover, ecosystems to study and behaviours to understand. On average, 7 species are discovered per hour!
THE MISSIONS OF UNDER THE POLE
BIOLUMINESCENCE AND NATURAL FLUORESCENCE
Light plays an essential role in the ecology of numerous marine species. Some animals naturally produce it (bioluminescence), while others transmit the sunlight through other colours (natural fluorescence). These phenomena have multiple uses: communicating between species, reproduction, to protect itself against predators. Understanding how bio-fluorescence works in animals allows this knowledge to be transferred to the medical and biological field. A “natural fluorescence” built in laboratories can be used to monitor the evolution of a virus or bacteria during the infection of an animal, which may contribute to the development of antivirals or antibiotics. By marking cancerous cells, we can follow the process of metastasis and develop treatments.
DEEP CORALS OF FRENCH POLYNESIA
Mostly known in warm surface waters, coral reefs have been discovered a few hundred meters deep. Overflowing with biodiversity, theses Mesophotic coral ecosystems (beyond 50 ft. below the surface) stay widely unexplored. Rarely studied, the coral ecosystems of the Twilight Zone could prove decisive in the protection of the marine heritage. Corals are subject to a lot of stress linked to anthropogenic factors and species are disappearing before we even discover them! And yet, these coral reefs bring ecosystem services of an inestimable value.
POLYNESIAN SUPERPREDATORS: THE GREAT SHARKS MARTEAU AND THE SHARK BULLDOG
Super predators play a critical role in the balance and resilience of marine ecosystems. The main objective of this mission will be to study the ecology of two species of sharks: the great hammerhead shark and the bulldog shark. Scientific knowledge provides decision-makers with tools to make the most appropriate decisions for each region. Understanding the behaviour and role of these species will:
Practical Applications of Under The Pole Science Programs
Science, biology, medicine and current societal challenges.
Under the Pole I, Deepsea Under The Pole, 2010
Under the Pole II, Discovery Greenland, 2014 - 2015
WHY IS IT VITAL TO PROTECT THE OCEANS?
70% of the oxygen we breathe comes from marine plants. One type of phytoplankton produces oxygen for one in five breaths. The oceans feed more than a billion men and women and are an essential climate machine: they regulate climates and absorb 30% of greenhouse gases.
WHY UNDER THE POLE AND BORDIER?
Exploring the oceans, becoming aware of and understanding the changes that are taking place in them means participating in a better knowledge of the world around us, with whom we interchange and interact daily.
This knowledge is essential, it is indeed the first lever to make decisions and adopt responsible behaviour.