DeepWorker sub films a giant grenadier at 1,900 feet in the Bering sea

RETURN to the Arctic Depths – An Ocean Doctor Special Presentation

DeepWorker sub films a giant grenadier at 1,900 feet in the Bering sea

DeepWorker sub films a giant grenadier at 1,900 feet in the Bering sea

An Ocean Doctor Special Presentation

In 2007, Greenpeace launched a groundbreaking expedition to explore the two largest underwater canyons in the world, in the heart of the Bering Sea. It was the first time manned submersibles ever entered these canyons and human eyes gazed directly upon their treasures. The expedition revealed an extraordinary tapestry of life thousands of feet below the surface, including beautiful, brightly-colored deepwater corals, sponges, anemones, octopus and fish and resulted the discovery of new species and species ranges.

The expedition also revealed the terrible damage being done to these intricate ecosystems by trawling nets, even more than 1,000 feet below the surface. Coldwater corals are the oldest living animals on the planet, some of which are roughly 4,000 years old and still alive today. But what may take decades, centuries or millenia to grow can be wiped out in the blink of an eye by a factory trawler net.

In 2007 Greenpeace explored the two largest underwater canyons in the world, both of which are in the Bering Sea

In 2007 Greenpeace explored the two largest underwater canyons in the world, both of which are in the Bering Sea. In 2012, Greenpeace returned to the Bering Sea and is also exploring the Chukchi sea

Five years later, as this is being written, Greenpeace has returned to the Bering Sea and is also exploring the Chukchi Sea with submersibles. This time, concern for these rich coralline ecosystems is not just about fishing. Royal Dutch Shell is making preparations to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea, and already Greenpeace researchers have revealed rich coral beds in the area in which Shell intends to drill. (See Greenpeace finds deep-sea corals on Shell’s Arctic drill site – Washington Post.)

Attacked by the giant squid's cousins!

“Attacked by the giant squid’s cousins!” is just one of the many posts and videos you’ll find below

Dr. David E. Guggenheim served as a sub pilot and scientific consultant during the 2007 expedition. Serving then only as his personal blog, was essentially born out of the 2007 expedition. A quirky new site named, “Twitter” offering something called “microblogging” was also used to provide live updates from the ship given limited bandwidth of the satellite connection. covered the unprecedented descent into the unknown, moments of discovery, seasickness, sub pilot diets, squid attacks, and even David’s first tattoo. (Yes, there are photos.)

To celebrate the five year anniversary of the expedition and to enrich the expedition now underway in the Arctic, we have compiled all of the content from the 2007 expedition in once place — on this page below. Several of the posts were later made into videos for what would become Ocean in Google Earth, also posted below. And two episodes of The Ocean Doctor Radio Show focused on the expedition. We also provide links to Greenpeace where you can learn more about both expeditions.

Greenpeace refers to the Bering Sea as “one of the wildest regions in the world.” It supplies fully half the seafood caught in the United States. It’s huge — more than 770,000 square miles — and stretches between Alaska and Russia. But its bounty is not unlimited and the impacts of fishing — especially trawling — can be devastating. We hope you’ll join us on this journey of rediscovery and learn how exploration and conservation go hand in hand. Now we invite you to return to the arctic depths…

Alaska is Ginormous



Original Blog Posts
Ocean Doctor Logo


Greenpeace Vessel M/V Esperanza

Beneath a British Columbian Waterfall

The Sub Pilot Diet Stresses Pleasure

The Sub Pilot Diet
Alaska is Ginormous
Ginormous is a Word, and Just in Time
Diver in Drysuit
When Everything Goes Wrong…and It’s a Good Thing
Esperanza at Dutch Harbor
The Journey West, North, West, North…
Esperanza Sets Sail from Dutch Harbor: Bering Sea Expedition Under Way
Humpback whale sounding on the Bering Sea
Whales Everywhere!
I Go First
Exploration of Pribilof Canyon Now Under Way, Revealing Rich Ecosystem, Corals
The Bering Sea -- with Attitude
Choose Nausea or Sleepiness. Or Perhaps You’d Like Both?
The Esperanza crew had an opportunity for a brief shore leave on St. Paul Island on Friday (August 3) before steaming north to Zhemchug Canyon. On St. Paul, they visited a fur seal rookery. Populations of fur seals are down dramatically. (Photo by David E. Guggenheim)
Esperanza Now at Zhemchug Canyon, Largest Underwater Canyon in the World
Enormous trawl scar 1,000 feet below the Bering Sea
Alone in the Dark with a Pen Light
Deepworker in Zhemchug Canyon
Deep Dives at Zhemchug Canyon Reveal Corals, Intricately Woven Ecosystem
Swiftia pacifica coral Bering Sea
Where Condos Fall from the Sky
Giant squid's cousins
Attacked by the Giant Squid’s Cousins
Shortraker rockfish Esperanza Heads South to Dutch Harbor with New Insights
Esperanza in Unalaska Expedition to the Bering Sea Concludes Successfully with New Insights, New Questions
Deepworker Pilots and Nuytco Crew A Sea Turtle is Born in Alaska
Esperanza in the Bering Sea Bering Sea Expedition Continues on Dry Land

Aaptos kanuux: A New Species of Sponge!

The Heart of the Bering Sea Beats with Discovery
Stony coral in the Bering Sea New Species Found, New Records Set, Beneath the Bering Sea
Dive 08 - B01C0104 - 00050726 - Anenome, basket star, sea star Deep Reflection: Alone in the Dark at 1,300 Feet Below


Featured on
Ocean in Google Earth


Bering Sea Canyons: Deep Scars, Deep Trouble
Bering Sea Canyons: ATTACKED by the Giant Squid’s Cousins
Bering Sea Canyons: Where Condos Fall from the Sky
Moment of Discovery in the Bering Sea
Deepworker 1-Person Sub Dives to 1,900 Feet in the Bering Sea


Featured on
The Ocean Doctor Radio Show
The Ocean Doctor Radio Show


This week's guest: John Hocevar, Oceans Campaign Leader, Greenpeace USA Beneath the Deadliest Catch: Beauty & Mayhem Under the Bering Sea
Deepworker Esperanza You’re a Submarine Pilot!

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