The Sail and Explore Association has two key focuses: plastic pollution and marine life. Plastic pollution is a serious problem because plastic does not naturally degrade in the environment and over 10 million tons of plastic end up in oceans annually. This has led to microplastics being found in marine animals such as fish and shrimp, as well as zooplankton and birds that have ingested these microplastic from their environments. The Sail and Explore Association seeks to find solutions to this problem by collecting data and increasing the awareness of plastic pollution.
In terms of marine life, the association is focused on sharks and rays which are some of the most threatened marine species due to their life-history characteristics, overfishing, habitat development, climate change and plastic pollution. Besides raising awareness of these species and the threats that they face, the Sail and Explore Association also seeks to improve the scientific data of them by combining science, education and diving. As the data of nearly half of the shark and ray species is insufficient, this research is much needed.
Some of the previous projects of the Sail and Explore Association have included exploring the marine litter in the Mediterranean and measuring microplastics in the Azores and Australia. The data has been collected during sailing expeditions where citizen scientists, local researchers and marine protection organisations have come together to improve the understanding of the type, quantity and composition of ocean plastics; test new sampling methods; and develop new approaches to understand the impacts of this pollution.
Besides advancing science, the association also plays a big role in educating people about the critical problems impacting marine environments. The association allows regular people to get hands-on experience doing research and gain knowledge from scientists during the expeditions. By actively engaging people, the Sail and Explore Association seeks to sensitise and educate them about the environmental problems that impact all of us.
What can I do?
Preserving marine environments is crucial for the well-being of the wider ecosystems. By joining one of Sail & Explore’s expeditions you support the cause financially, learn more about the threats to marine wildlife and can also enjoy an amazing sailing trip. If you don’t have the time for that you can also support the association by donating via their website.
Removing carbon from the atmosphere to combat climate change is another crucial factor in protecting marine wildlife, as climate contributes to the warming of the oceans and ocean acidification, both of which are harmful to marine life. By becoming our customer and removing your carbon footprint, you can contribute to this mission.