“The Clipperton Atoll: Cursed by Isolation”
Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet
Monday, March 27th, 2017 @ 7 PM
The Press Box Restaurant and Pub
932 2nd Avenue (between 49th and 50th)
The most isolated atoll on Earth – Clipperton. Uninhabited since 1945, lying in the Pacific Ocean some 800 miles southwest of Acapulco, in the heart of one of the most biodiverse and richest marine life regions in the world. Claimed – and colonized – at various times since the 1700’s by France, Mexico, Britain, and a United States mining company, it has been a French territory since 1931, and the subject of the 1978 Jacques Cousteau TV special “Clipperton: The Island that Time Forgot.”
During January 2016, Michel and Julie led an Explorers Club Flagged scientific expedition to Clipperton. Their goal: to assess the health of shark populations and the marine ecosystem, and tag sharks to attempt to establish migration patterns connected with the protected islands in the Eastern Tropical Pacific – Cocos, Galapagos, Malpelo, Coiba, and Revillagigedos. They found a lost island littered with the remains of colonization, along with evidence of long lining and intense illegal fishing – a unique ecosystem in crisis and in urgent need of protection; threatened by its very isolation. Michel and Julie will be leading a second scientific expedition to this rarely visited and forbidding place in just a few months, beginning April 29th. They will continue their quest to expand the protection of Clipperton and unlock the mysteries of shark migration routes between the islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
***NOTE: The official Club Annual Meeting, as per our bylaws, where club elections will take place, will be held in November***