Support For Ocean Tech Continues To Grow

November 30, 2016

Support for Ocean Tech’s first mission in Bermuda continues to grow, with Bermuda International Shipping Ltd. [BISL] joining with PwC, The Atlantic Conservation Partnership and Henrik Schroder from iTDNA as a sponsor of the Ocean Tech project.

Ocean Tech is a groundbreaking scientific research project that’s using unique autonomous underwater vehicles [AUVs] that can track, follow and film marine life to reveal their deepest secrets.

The project hopes to provide new data that could justify the establishment of marine protected areas and other conservation measures around the world.

“We are very pleased that BISL has agreed to support the Ocean Tech project,” said Ocean Tech Executive Director Andrew Smith.

“As you can imagine we will be shipping in a huge amount of equipment and vehicles from the UK and the USA, consequently a mission shipping partner is essential. BISL have very kindly agreed to donate their full set of services to the project for free. Shipping represents a huge cost to the project so we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

Ocean Tech Bermuda November 2016

“There is a growing call around the world for corporations of all sizes, small businesses and the general public to play an increasing part in supporting environmental projects. Governments are expected to solve the planets environmental problems but in reality the problem is much bigger than any one government.

“The support of private individuals, corporations, small businesses and governments is essential if we are to stand any chance of protecting what’s left. Having the support of BISL, a company that relies on the very existence of the ocean to operate is a real positive for the project and shows a significant commitment from the local shipping sector in Bermuda”

“We are extremely proud to support the Ocean Tech project; the oceans are a vital part to Bermudas economy and its ecology,” said George Butterfield, Manager of BISL’s agent, Meyer Freight.

“Our business exists because of the ocean; as such we feel we have a responsibility, as does everyone, to help ensure its effective management and protection. Ocean Tech is a unique platform that can let us see how and why marine species use the marine environment; this will help governments effectively and efficiently manage and protect the places that may need protecting.

Ocean Tech will use two REMUS 100 autonomous underwater vehicles that are designed and built by US-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to study the marine life around Bermuda. The vehicles are fitted with sensors, scanners and 360° virtual reality video cameras and can follow marine animals autonomously to reveal their deepest secrets.

The team hope to follow and film Galapagos and dusky sharks, tiger sharks, giant tarpon, spotted eagle rays, lion fish and humpback whales with the vehicles. The REMUS-100 vehicles follow a transponder that has to be carefully attached by the team to the target species.

A documentary film, global and local exhibits that will reach over 45 million people globally, educational programmes and a social media campaign are planned around mission 1. It will also include scientific papers delivered to local policy makers; local youth summer camps, live broadcast local lectures, a live open ocean classroom initiative, curriculum linked school materials and local scientific internship placements.

Fred Barritt Vice President of BISL added “Bermuda International Shipping Ltd. Was formed in 1984, five years later on April 28, 1989, BISL commenced a weekly service to Bermuda from the Port of Salem, New Jersey, with the sailing of the Bermuda Islander, a name now familiar to many Bermudians.

“As islanders we all have a history and connection to the ocean, none more so than BISL. I am very proud that BISL is supporting the Ocean Tech project. We all need to become better stewards of our ocean for the sake of our children and children’s children. Ocean Tech is a fantastic way for many of us to do that”.

The Ocean Tech team includes:

  • Andrew Smith – Ocean Tech Executive Director
  • Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley Ocean Tech lead scientist [Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science - BIOS]
  • Amy Kukulya – Ocean Tech chief REMUS Engineer [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]
  • Choy Aming – Ocean Tech joint expedition leader & head of wildlife tagging.
  • Chris Flook – Ocean Tech chief wildlife locator & handler
  • Dr. Matt Ajemian – Ocean Tech eagle ray & tarpon scientist
  • Dr. Corey Eddy – Ocean Tech Galapagos shark and lionfish research scientist.
  • Dr. Susan Parks – Ocean Tech humpback whale research scientist
  • Dr Mahmood Shivji – Ocean Tech tiger shark research scientist
  • Dan Radford – Ocean Tech Creative director
  • Catherine Capon Bsc RCS – Ocean Tech Communications Executive
  • Shona Vitelli – Ocean Tech Director of Education
  • Andrew Kirkpatrick – Lead Underwater Camera Operator
  • John Singleton Ocean Tech ROV & Drone Pilot
  • Dylan Ward – Ocean Tech REMUS & Dive support
  • Oscar Deuss– Ocean Tech REMUS & Dive support
  • Scott Amos – Ocean Tech free dive & tag attachment specialist.

Ocean Tech’s scientific & Mission Partners include:

  • Woods Hole Oceanographic institution [WHOI]
  • Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science [BIOS]
  • Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute [BUEI]
  • Atlantic Conservation Partnership [BZS]
  • Harbour Branch Florida Atlantic University
  • Syracuse University
  • World Commission On Protected Areas
  • IUCN
  • The Sargasso Sea Commission
  • NOAA’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary Programme
  • The Guy Harvey Research Institute
  • The Ocean Support Foundation
  • Sea Life

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