What Yachts Can Do to Help Ocean Research

10 November 2022 By Lauren Beck
Courtesy of Yachts for Science

Lauren Beck is the former editor of Dockwalk and was with the publication from 2006 to 2023. At 13, she left South Africa aboard a 34-foot sailing boat with her family and ended up in St. Maarten for six years. Before college, she worked as crew for a year, and then cut her journalistic teeth at Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal online. She loves traveling, reading, tennis, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

Want to do something for ocean research? Yachts for Science (YFS), a collaboration between Nekton, Arksen, BOAT International, EYOS Expeditions, and the Ocean Family Foundation that connects private yacht owners with marine scientists and researchers, is looking for vessels to help with a few new citizen science projects for 2022 and 2023.

YFS is looking for vessels transiting the Atlantic in autumn 2022 or spring 2023, either sailing or motor yacht. Your commitment would be fairly simple — tow a net for 30 minutes once or twice a day at two knots, take photos, and record your findings. The science is driven by the Global Ocean Surface Ecosystem Alliance (GO-SEA), a community science project to understand the “dynamics of floating life and floating plastic at the ocean’s surface.” 

The community is funded by NASA, and to be able to understand the ocean’s ecology, they need help from vessels that go to sea — which is where you could help. GO-SEA will train crew and provide cameras and neuston surface nets to capture sea life and plastic found on the ocean’s surface.

Courtesy of Yachts for Science

YFS is also searching for yachts to help with research for scientists studying mesophotic reefs — those reefs that exist beyond the depths of 30 to 100 meters — using the latest 3D camera technology. The scientists are looking for vessels in Belize, the BVIs, Cuba, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, or the Turks and Caicos for several dates: January 1–16, 2023; May 6–28, 2023, and from June 5, 2023, onward. They are also looking for four or five berths and scuba tanks.

The third project is for Manta Trust, a UK charity that coordinates global mobulid research and conservation efforts through research, education, and collaboration. For this project, YFS is looking for two to four berths on vessels in Fuvahmulah in the Maldives in March or April 2023 and the Lau Group islands in Fiji in July or August 2023. They would also prefer scuba equipment and an ROV in the Maldives. The Maldives research project plans to study reef mantas, plus explore remote areas of the Maldives archipelago to discover and document new populations. In Fiji, the project involves manta ray research conservation.

If interested, contact

For more related content:
Yachts for Science: Can You Make a Difference?


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