Citizen Science for Sailors

Are you keen a sailor and want to get involved in citizen science from your own boat or passages?

With thousands of boats out on our global waters every day, there is a real opportunity for us to use our boats to contribute to ocean science data collection, particularly in some of the most remote parts of our planet.

Here are some of the great opportunities that we are a part of, and that you can be, too.

Come be a Clean Sailor AND an ocean researcher with us!



1. Help protect sensitive seabeds




We recently launched our new global campaign, ‘#protectourbeds´, to help stop vital seagrass being destroyed. It’s about bringing greater awareness to us water-users on where sensitive seabeds lie and encouraging us to minimise disruption by especially anchoring.  

Seagrasses combat climate change by absorbing and storing huge amounts of carbon but are estimated to be the fastest disappearing habitat on the planet mainly due to avoidable human activity.

Through this project, we are digitally mapping sensitive seabeds and eco-moorings in boating hotspots around the world, in the savvy navvy app.

Do you know eco-moorings or seagrass beds that we don’t know about?

Get in touch!

We want to ensure our project is as comprehensive as possible, to help as much of our global seabeds as possible.

Making this data visible to those of us who can mitigate our impact when boating, across the world, is incredibly exciting and just makes so much sense to seagrass conservation efforts globally.

Find out more

To see more about our #ProtectOurBeds initiative with savvy navvy and the Ocean Conservation Trust, click here



2. Mapping global pollution and maritime hazards


Eyesea - mapping maritime pollution


Seafarers, recreational sailors, professional mariners, fishermen, surfers, and divers all have unique access to the coast, littoral waters and the vastness of the ‘blue water’ ocean.

Our partners, Eyesea, are a digital platform collecting citizen science data on ocean pollution and maritime hazards, which they then overlay onto charts to model the effects of current, wind and tide on the pollution's movement and location. 

Ocean charts and pollution heat-maps then allow them to identify what makes up maritime pollution, and where clean up efforts can have the greatest impact.

Want to help inform global ocean clean-up efforts with just two taps? 

How do I sign up?

Simply download the Eyesea app and get tacking pictures of the pollution you come across. You can add a description and geolocation data, so the team know exactly where the pollution is. 



3. Mapping the seabed by 2030


Citizen Science for Sailors -  Seabed 2030


As part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science, efforts are being made to map 100% of the ocean floor by 2030.

Sounds ambitious? Well, this is a global citizen science project using vessels already on the water, and you can help from your own boat and depth recordings, as read on your LOG and marine instruments

The Nippon Foundation is aiming for one, definitive map of the world ocean floor in the next few years.

How do I sign up?

All you have to do is contact our partner, The International SeaKeepers Society and request a logger device, which basically captures the depth data and GPS location that our marine instruments read on an SD card.

It’s really simple to fit this to your existing nav instruments – it’s a small device that works with the two main navigation systems, as the devices are based off the main navigation system brands.

Once the SD card is full or your passage is complete, just send the SD back to the SeaKeepers who get it added to the global Seabed 2030 database.

The best thing is, once you have the free logger device, you can keep recording depth data for as long as you like – you’ll just need an SD card.

Find out more

To read more about the global Seabed 2030 project, see The Nippon Foundation website

To sign up as a Discovery Yacht and data contributor and to request a logger, visit The International SeaKeepers DISCOVERY Yacht Programme


4. Monitoring plankton with the Neuston Net programme 


Citizen Science for Sailors - Neuston Net research


Our oceans are full of a host of tiny organisms that play a disproportionately instrumental role in the running of our global ecosystem for their microscopic size.

Yup, we are talking about plankton. Plankton is the base of the food chain – from the nourishment we eat to the air we breathe, plankton help produce and sustain all life on Earth.

Cool, right?

If you want to help collect samples and survey plankton from your boat, then you need to join this project.

Once registered, you’ll apply for a Neuston Net and onboard kit to help you survey this microscopic life, Neuston Nets are fine mesh nets often towed behind boats to collect samples of neustonic organisms, algae, plastics, plankton, seawater, and more. 

How do I sign up?

To sign up as a Discovery Yacht and data contributor, visit our partners, The International SeaKeepers DISCOVERY Yacht Programme