Falmouth has become the first harbour in the UK to partner with The International SeaKeepers Society (SeaKeepers) in a unique collaboration between yacht-owners, scientists and environmental researchers to focus on the health of the world’s oceans and climate.
Falmouth Harbour will be promoting SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY Yacht Programme and helping owners to volunteer themselves and their vessels in crucial support for Scientist-led Expeditions, Citizen Science and Educational Outreach programmes.
The DISCOVERY Yacht Fleet includes craft of all sorts and sizes depending on the type of expedition or research, whether it be mapping the sea-bed or water-monitoring – or providing an “at sea” research platform for university students or scientists.
“We can’t overstate the importance of our pioneering partnership with Falmouth Harbour which we hope will be the first of many collaborations around the coasts of the UK and Europe,” explained Tony Gilbert, Programme Director of SeaKeepers’ home base in Florida, USA. “The most expensive part of any marine research is sourcing a suitable vessel and the fuel – so as with our world-wide mission, our Falmouth colleagues will be helping SeaKeepers link willing owners with suitable marine projects to support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration.”
Falmouth Harbour’s Environment Manager Vicki Spooner said: “We know that so many owners of vessels in our care have a real social and environmental conscience. SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY YachtProgramme is a fantastic way to get involved via a safe and regulated platform to offer their services to marine research and to raising awareness about the issues our oceans face.”
The not-for profit organization was founded in 1998 by a small group of yacht owners who, alarmed by the deterioration of the natural environment, sought to link scientific and yachting communities, combining resources to maximise the potential for marine research, conservation efforts and education across the world.
As the UK’s first and last major port strategically located on the Western Approaches, as well as the third-largest natural deep-water harbour in the world, Falmouth is uniquely positioned as a launchpad for ocean conservation and other initiatives offering shelter and port services for vessels of all sizes in unrivalled natural environments.
Falmouth Harbour CEO Miles Carden said: “Our partnership with SeaKeepers is a perfect fit for our environmental commitment to this beautiful Harbour and the seas beyond. We foresee bringing more explorer yachts to the Harbour and we’re keen to work with boat owners, harbour visitors, local marinas and other organisations on initiatives and issues which affect us all.”
Vessels which sign up for the DISCOVERY Yacht Programme will have the opportunity to get involved in the Seabed 2030 Project, a Citizen Science initiative to map the world’s oceans by 2030, host a variety of Scientist-led Expeditions, engage in the Carbon Impact Program and put into practice A Green Guide to Boating, a boater’s manual which provides best practices for vessel operations; as well as many other activities that support oceanographic research and conservation.
To find out more about these and other SeaKeepers projects and how to get involved in the DISCOVERY Yacht Programme visit https://www.seakeepers.org/programs/join-the-discovery-yacht-program/.
For more on Falmouth Harbour’s Citizen Science initiatives visit Citizen science – Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall