Sail Against Plastic Research project

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Maybe Sailing is extremely proud to have been a part of the Sail Against Plastic Research project in Svalbard.  Take a look at the video produced by the group of scientists, artists, film makers and photographers on board.

The Ocean needs you

The threats mounting against the World’s oceans are immense: from floating rafts of plastic the size of small countries, to rising temperatures bleaching entire reefs in a matter of years. If we don’t act soon, we will risk losing a world that we’re only just beginning to understand.

Pollution is a major player amongst the myriad of threats: plastics, toxic chemicals, noise and many other sources. These all present an acute threat to living organisms, from animals becoming entangled or accidentally mistaking discarded waste as their next meal, to background noise preventing communication in animals like dolphins and whales.

Did you know?

  • around 8 million pieces of plastic are currently entering our oceans every single day

  • a recent study estimates that 90% of seabirds carry around 10% of their body weight in plastics

  • Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the World, and microplastics have even been found in the Arctic sea ice

  • A plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment

Plastic production and use has not slowed down since these findings with more and more single use disposable plastic used around in the world on a daily basis.

Unseen and Unknown

We believe it to be an issue of what is not visible. The problem is that a lot of this pollution isn’t particularly obvious to us, even though its effects on the marine world can be disastrous.

Only 1% of plastics actually end up on the ocean surface, for example. We still don’t know where the other 99% goes –  although tiny fragments called ‘microplastics’ likely end up settling on the sea floor, in the water column, in sea creatures or on our beaches.

The effects of this so-called non-visible pollution on marine life, as well as its concentration and distribution, presents a major gap in our scientific knowledge. This is especially true in remote regions such as the Arctic ocean, where the focus of most research has primarily been on the impacts of Climate Change.

That’s where we – and more importantly, you – come in.

Our Mission

The aim of our 12-day voyage to the icy waters surrounding Svalbard is to make the unseen seen.

We’ll be collecting vital baseline data on non-visible pollutants in the Arctic ocean, such as microplastics and human-made background noise. Through film, photography and arts, we will increase public awareness by making our findings educational and engaging, whilst highlighting the actions needed to preserve this spectacular region.

Key Objectives

 > To unite sailors, scientists, artists, filmmakers, adventurers, biologists and researchers to make the unseen seen, and reveal the invisible pollution destroying our oceans

 > To collect data on microplastics, noise pollution and chemical toxins to add to a worldwide data set, which we hope will go towards informing policies and instigating change

> To engage with the public. From locals in Svalbard to students on our university campus: we hope our findings will educate and inspire others to make changes to their everyday lives that result in a cleaner, healthier environment.

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