Covering 71% of the Earth’s surface and producing half of the oxygen we breathe, the ocean is critical to our health and well-being. Yet a large question mark shadows our greatest and most crucial ecosystem. The deeper the water, the more restricted our knowledge of its health and functionality becomes, hence the desperate need for scientists to access some of the world’s most remote areas.
Throughout centuries of sea exploration, only 9% of the ocean’s species have been discovered. This is where you come in. The Pelorus Foundation is addressing the unique opportunity to pair marine scientists and conservation experts with private yachts to conduct vital research. If you are a yacht-owner, work on board or know scientists with a prospective project, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your support is fundamental in the advancement of ocean access, marine research and global knowledge to enhance the ocean’s prosperity. Not only this, but you will receive the exclusive chance to take part in a fascinating research project.
Below are examples of yacht conservation initiatives to be actioned around the globe.
Red Sea Check with CORDIO
Never done before in the Red Sea, Pelorus have been assisting CORDIO to create a new ocean check system to provide a ‘snapshot’ of the health of the sea, including its coral reefs, fish, algae and anthropogenic impacts. Drawing on existing methods that monitor coral reef health, the system will look at the general condition of the ecosystem. The pioneering concept focuses on capturing reliable and sufficient coastal data that can be used to influence policy and management systems throughout the region.
Shark Nursery Research in the Galapagos
Home to some of the last and largest remaining adult aggregations of endangered scalloped hammerhead and blacktip sharks is the Galapagos Islands. Little is known about the region’s juvenile nursery grounds, hence the need for scientific research and a vessel to accommodate. Using high resolution habitat maps, existing sites will be surveyed to refine the model, with the resulting nursery habitat maps provided to varying users such as fishers and tour operators. Ultimately, a discussion on minimising impact at the juvenile shark sites will be promoted.
Antarctic Whale Research Programme
Working with Dr Ari Friedlander, Pelorus has designed a whale conservation programme with both long-term vision and short-term goals to understand whale biology, ecology, and the impacts of climate change and human disturbance around the Antarctic Peninsula. Using motion sensing and video recording suction cups, we will study the foraging behaviours and habitat of baleen whales, as well as use blubber and skin samples to measure population structure and contaminant levels in humpback and minke whales. A collection of acoustic recordings in areas with and without human presence will determine the impact on whale communication and stress levels in the region.
Using platforms of opportunity in the Antarctic, with the support of passengers and their participation, we strive to generate both scientific data and public information that is used directly for the conservation of whales and the Antarctic ecosystem as a whole.
Reef Protector Marine Research in Mozambique
In partnership with the West Indian Ocean Research Initiative (WIORI), Pelorus has established an ocean research project in the Mozambique Channel. Revolving around the collection of scientific marine data, we aim to better understand the condition of habitats and species populations to then facilitate conservation and biodiversity recovery across seagrass, mangrove and coral reef ecosystems.
Led by an oceanographic scientist, the fully-equipped REEF PROTECTOR research vessel will be used to ensure the successful operation of this coastal scientific project, with the ability to undertake expeditions for 45 days at a time. Participating guests will have the opportunity to dive or snorkel on a variety of reefs, microlight over the coastline, and drive through the private game and marine reserve. Whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and dugong are amongst the plethora of species likely to be encountered and documented for their continued protection.
Australia’s Great Reef Census
Noticing a rare opportunity to discover marine areas where little is already known, the Pelorus Foundation is using superyachts to venture to unsurveyed areas of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Encompassing 3,000 individual reefs and home to over 1,600 species of fish, almost 40% of the Great Barrier Reef remains entirely unexplored.
Aiming to capture investigative data, the Great Reef Census is a world-first citizen science project. For ocean conservation, this is a pioneering initiative, made increasingly unique through the inclusion of superyacht owners and guests. As part of your expedition, you can join marine scientists and gain a deeper insight into the Great Barrier Reef’s diverse ecosystem.
In partnership with Ocean Alliance, we can significantly enhance the reach and outcome of marine research projects. With the provision of superyachts’ advanced capabilities, we are able to address conservation challenges and work towards the vital protection of our blue planet.