Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

How can luxury yachts help to save our seas?

Private yachts are gathering vital data on our oceans

How can luxury yachts help to save our seas?

Image: © Pamela Jones 2007

June 21 2010
Sibéal Pounder

“Luxury yacht” and “marine conservation” may seem to be disparate worlds, but members of the International SeaKeepers Society, a non-profit dedicated to protecting oceanic ecosystems, are using their private yachts for oceanographic data-gathering. The society, which boasts James Cameron and Mikhail Gorbachev as honorary members, provides its SeaKeeper 1000 technology to members in return for a donation of about $75,000.

The device transmits satellite data every three hours to the Global Telecommunication System, which is managed by the UN World Meteorological Organisation and distributes readings and data reports to its 192 member nations.

“These yachts often sail in waters not usually visited by research vessels,” says SeaKeepers co-founder Jim Gilbert. “Their data contributes baseline information on ocean chemistry and pH, which are vital to monitor when tackling key problems – such as the decline in fish populations and coral reef and marine ecosystem deterioration – that are jeopardising our seas.”