VENÜ #44 SPRING 2021

Page 126

TRANSPORT: Seakeepers

Yachting Community On Board In Fighting The

PLASTICS PROBLEM The International SeaKeepers Society build a global movement to help restore and protect the world's oceans By IVONNE GAMBOA

The world’s oceans are under invasion by a virtually indestructible enemy – plastic. Every year, an estimated 8 to 12 million tons of plastic make their way into the sea. From coastlines to the middle of the sea – floating along the tops of waves and hidden in the deepest depths – it’s there in its many forms. The International SeaKeepers Society and, Florida International University College of Arts, Education, and Science (CASE) have joined forces to combat this problem. Founded in Monaco in 1998, The International SeaKeepers Society began as a group of yacht owners who realized they shared more than just a passion for yachting and were also concerned about the deteriorating condition of the world’s oceans. They wanted to advance oceanographic research with the help of the yachting community – in a way that would utilize resources they already had (vessels) to support ocean research. Because the yachting and sailing communities are

Dr. Mark Bond analyzing water sample

constantly mobile their unique capabilities for at-sea research and education are extremely valuable. This led to the creation of the SK1000 unit which was a data collection device that was installed in larger vessels. The SK1000 technology provided near real-time oceanographic and meteorological measurements from the yacht’s position to scientific databases and operated from 1998 to 2012. The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System made the data available to several regional centers, including the NOAA National Data Buoy Center, the



TOP: Tony Gilbert, SeaKeepers Program Director and Dr. Mark Bond, Florida International University Scientist carrying S.A.R.A.H. Net aboard DISCOVERY Yacht Shredder RIGHT: Photograph by Reilly Strand

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