“Patagonia in Depth”

Discovering new species in the unknown depth of Chilean fjords to understand their ecosystems and support their sustainable use and conservation.

Dr. Vreni Häussermann, Huinay Scientific Field Station.

Proyect goal

Protect Patagonian fjords through discovering new species, raising awareness and creating marine reserves

About the project

If there remains a place in the world which merits the description “Terra Incognita”, then that title must be applied to Chilean Patagonia. Here lies a tangled web of fjords and channels where the harshest conditions of terrain and weather have conspired to repel all but a few attempts at exploration. Vast distances, incredible depths, dangerously poor charting and mapping have defeated all but the most hardy of “would be” explorers, and certainly modern scientific methods have scarcely made inroads into wringing the secrets from this most enigmatic labyrinth.

Yet this extraordinary area, arguably the least studied region on the planet, is about to be mortally threatened by the gold-rush mentality of a new industrial exploitation. For seventeen years it has been my struggle and my work to scientifically examine the depths of the Patagonian seas in order that this new knowledge might be applied towards avoiding, or at least mitigating the destructive effects of this type of exploitation. My SCUBA diving expeditions have revealed an unknown, stunningly lush benthic life and the results of my explorations to date have often been the only source of biological information for decision making on the future of a unique ecosystem. My discoveries include dozens of new species even in the most accessible parts, but even these spectacular findings can only foreshadow what hides in the areas and depths that so far have been out of reach. The Rolex Award would afford me to bring our new Remotely Operated Vehicle to the most intriguing places and depths to explore a fantastic world that no human eye has seen before, but which could easily be destroyed before we can know it. It would help me to share these wonders with the public to raise awareness and create advocacy. This way I hope that it will empower me to succeed in my quest to implement a network of protected areas that will efficiently conserve some of the worlds last true marine wilderness.

This documentary has been funded with the Rolex Awards for Enterprise award obtained by the Patagonia project “in Depth”

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Eddie Frost
Director, Writer

Eddie Frost has been making documentaries for 14 years. He is Creative Director at Proudfoot, a production company based in London. His work has taken him all around the world and he has worked on broadcast productions for National Geographic channels and BBC World among others. Most of his work, though, is on films for online audiences interested in the environment or the arts. He believes that the arts have a responsibility to change how people see the world, and that includes vulnerable ecosystems

Eddie Frost
Director, Escritor

Eddie Frost ha estado haciendo documentales durante 14 años. Es Director Creativo en Proudfoot, una compañía de producción con sede en Londres. Su trabajo lo ha llevado por todo el mundo y ha trabajado en producciones de transmisión para canales de National Geographic y BBC World, entre otros. La mayor parte de su trabajo, sin embargo, es en películas para audiencias en línea interesadas en el medio ambiente o las artes. Él cree que las artes tienen la responsabilidad de cambiar la forma en que las personas ven el mundo, y eso incluye los ecosistemas vulnerables.