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Eyesea and mapping pollution

Article by ONBOARD Magazine

EyeSea Graeme Somerville-Ryan

As the first cruise ship joins Eyesea, Graeme Somerville-Ryan explains how the collection of data is the only way forward if we are to save our oceans

The expedition vessel, Ocean Nova, has become the first cruise ship to join the Eyesea pollution mapping initiative. Eyesea is a New Zealand based nonprofit organisation that has developed a mobile application to crowdsource information on marine pollution. The Eyesea app allows users to take pictures of pollution which are then tagged and placed on maps and
charts.

Richard Del Valle, President of Adventure Shipping, said “We’re very pleased to be leading the way on an environmental issue that is so important to everyone who sails, both crew and passengers. The case for Eyesea is compelling – very few people have access to the parts of the world we visit, and any data we can collect is of critical importance. With Ocean Nova’s ice class, maneuverability, and highly experienced crew, she is often in waters rarely seen by other ships. We joined the Eyesea initiative because we think we can help.”

“We are seeing an increased demand from expedition passengers to be more directly involved in environmentally focused initiatives. Showing a video on recycling is no longer enough and, as an industry, we have been waiting for something to be involved in that takes advantage of the uniqueness of expedition cruising,” Del Valle explains.

Eyesea has collected over 25,000 pollution report images from all over the world and now has volunteers and partnerships in Chile, The United States of America, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Uganda, the Netherlands, Norway, The United Kingdom, The Isle of Man, Greece, and Hong Kong.

Eyesea has partnered with a major technology company, providing its pictures to a global pollution imagery database, and has run the first batch of pollution images and data through an advanced learning platform to identify pollution type and density in the various locations around the globe.

“Eyesea is early stage, but we are excited about the impact of the data gathering, the vast potential of the tech development, and the way Eyesea is working with community groups all over the world to record and clean-up marine pollution. These are things we should all look to be involved in as much as possible,” said Del Valle.

Ocean Nova undertakes both in-depth Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. She is a high ice-class expedition vessel that was built in Denmark in 1992 to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland. The ship carries 84 passengers in cabins that are spread over two decks and include cabins for the single traveller, double and triple cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. The vessel offers a glass-enclosed observation lounge with panoramic views which also serves as a presentation room, a spacious single seating dining room, a bar, a library, gym, and an additional aft observation lounge. The ship has a fleet of seven Zodiac boats that carry all passengers at once for landings and wildlife watching.

Graeme Somerville-Ryan, founder of Eyesea noted the significance of Ocean Nova joining Eyesea, “For Eyesea, getting the first cruise ship involved is a critically important milestone and we are grateful for Richard and Ocean Nova’s support. It is very easy to just talk about environmental care, but Richard clearly saw there was a very tangible role for the passengers and crew through Eyesea – at sea and onshore. It’s great to have them onboard, I hope the Ocean Nova finds nothing, but this is a problem that needs vigilance.”

For more information please visit: www.eyesea.org and www.adventureshipping.com