Can the world’s luxury yacht owners help reduce ocean scientists’ biggest expense: ship time?
The International SeaKeepers Society is offering yachts for marine science expeditions, free of charge.
Marine scientists perform research ranging in scope from global food security to threatened species conservation to climate change, research that is critical to a healthy environment. As with other scientific disciplines, however, funding cuts threaten the future of this research. A recent Joint Ocean Commission Imitative report gave the United States government a D minus on funding for ocean sciences, and one of the primary funding programs for ocean exploration has been proposed for termination.
Even as funding is reduced, costs associated with ocean science research are rising. In particular, the fuel costs for research vessels, of which there are fewer and fewer each year, are increasing. Ship time often costs tens of thousands of dollars each day. This huge expense is critical, as researchers have to get to their study area before they can begin to study it. The International SeaKeepers Society, a non-profit founded by a group of luxury yacht owners, wants to help reduce or eliminate this cost by hosting marine science expeditions on private yachts. “By providing scientists in need of a research platform at sea with the opportunity to work off a privately owned vessel at little to no cost, SeaKeepers helps remove one of the most costly aspects of data collection: access to the water,” says Brittany Stockman, Director of Programs and Policies for the International SeaKeepers Society.