Salty Times Citizen Science

0 Posted by - May 26, 2015 - cruising, Sailing, Salty Times

When you learn about how much we don’t know about our Oceans it will blow you mind.

We have no idea about so many aspects about our oceans, how they work as a whole ecosystem and how much they sustain our existence on land.  My hat comes off to all the scientists who dedicate their time to learning more about the Big Salty Blue.

We are big on learning and contributing as much as we can to healthy oceans, since we are spending long periods of time in our floating home and calling the Indian Ocean our neighborhood.

We know we have a privilege to be able to sail and spend so much time looking at and interacting with the Ocean. So we plan to use that privlidge to support science for our Oceans. We are taking on some Citizen Science Projects and passing our data on to scientists who can use it.

Here are a few of the projects we are taking on:

Whale, Turtle, Manta Ray  and Jelly-fish monitoring

We are headed North at the same time as the Humpbacks and so when we see Whales or Turtles we will be marking their GPS coordinates, and noting their behavior. We are sending this data to scientists that are researching whale migrations, turtles populations, Manta-ray sightings and jellyfish activity.

Here are a few of the sites we are sending our observations to:

Phytoplankton and The Secchi Disk

‘The phytoplankton in the sea accounts for approximately 50% of all photosynthesis on Earth and, through the food web they support, they  underpin the marine food chain.’ The problem is we know so little about phytoplankton across all our oceans, and with the rise in sea temperatures they are at risk. Luckily there is a  great project that anyone can take part in to contribute valuable phytoplankton data to scientists.

Check out the Secchi Disk and how you can be apart of the project too.

Plastics in our Ocean

Since we have lived on the boat the amount of floating plastic that has passed our boat has been shocking. Everyday I collect rubbish from around the Harbour before it gets a chance to get into our oceans, but the problem is a lot bigger than that. Scientists are beginning to understand  the extent of impact that plastics and micro plastics is having on our oceans and coastlines.

We are attempting to get a micro-plastics trawl net on the back of our boat. If not we will be taking water samples as we go and looking at the plastics content.

We are going to be doing Coastal Litter Surveys and  as we catch fish look at their stomach contents to see if there is plastics. Both of these projects are connected to the CSIRO. We have connected with Denise Hardesty from the CSIRO and the work she is doing on plastic pollution. Check out one of her articles here: Our Oceans are Full of our Plastic – Here’s what we can do about it.

Sea Birds

With  Base being a mega Bird fanatic, we constantly have our eyes on the sky checking our sea birds. We have connected with an Ornithologist from the WA Museum, and also have connected with a Sea Bird Facebook group to document what  flying friends we see as we cruise.

These are the projects we have connected with so far, but we are always open for more suggestions for ways we can document and collect some citizen science as we go. If you’re a scientist or an ocean advocate with a project get in touch! We would love to hear about other interesting Citizen Science Projects.






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