Voyage to Kure
In the 2004 Voyage to Kure expedition the Ocean Futures Society team traveled to a remote island chain, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to explore one of the last pristine coral reefs in the Pacific.
The beauty and the horror of this Ocean Adventures Jean-Michel Cousteau exploration and film inspired then-President George W. Bush to create the then-largest marine sanctuary in the world to protect the pristine coral reefs, large shark populations, endangered monk seals and millions of seabirds from environmental impacts like the growing Pacific garbage patch. A film that made a difference.
Stretching more than 1,200 miles from Honolulu, the chain of islands and atolls known as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) is one of the most remote places on Earth. Home to one of the largest coral reef systems in the world -- nearly as vast as Australia's Great Barrier Reef - the NWHI archipelago composed of 10 islands and more than 100 reefs and shoals. They create a rich tropical marine environment and form the foundation of an ecosystem that hosts more than 7,000 species, including marine mammals, fishes, sea turtles, birds and invertebrates. Many are rare, threatened or endangered. At least a quarter of them can be found nowhere else on Earth. They are protected by America's largest National Wildlife Refuge, open only to scientists.
The islands are an extension of the more familiar Hawaiian Islands, but few people have ever set foot on them or dived in their surrounding waters. Their remoteness, inaccessibility and protected status shield them from tourists. Parts of the NWHI are truly unexplored territories. Because of infrequent human contact, these islands and reefs, vibrant and rich with diverse underwater and avian life, create an amazing habitat for unique endemic species.
In Voyage to Kure, Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team of 20 experienced divers and scientists travel for six weeks aboard the Searcher to the farthest edge of the NWHI, the remote Kure Atoll. Along the way, they stop to explore reefs and islands teeming with life and to meet the researchers and scientists working to protect these fragile ecosystems. The Cousteau team's goal is to explore a realm that seems beyond human impact, to show its wonders to the world and to encourage its protection. Using the latest diving, filmmaking and communication technology, they are truly modern-day explorers.
Voyage to Kure is shot in high-definition and is narrated by Pierce Brosnan.