ABB has agreed to provide shipboard systems and systems expertise for a research voyage that is set to be undertaken by Dutch charitable organisation ‘By the Ocean we Unite’ (BTOWU).
The organisation aims to raise awareness of the damage caused by the millions of tonnes of plastics that end up in the world’s oceans every year.
ABB will install a marine advisory system equipped with Meteo Group's SPOS Onboard weather routing software on-board BTOWU’s yacht, Fantastiko, as part of the deal.
The software is designed to help crew route-plan and monitor weather conditions on a research voyage in waters off Rotterdam, the Netherlands; France; Belgium; the South of England, UK; and the Channel Islands, later this month.
By the Ocean we Unite representative Thomas Thiel said: “Today, it is estimated that 23,000kg of plastics are dumped into the world’s oceans every single minute.
“These materials are fragmenting into ever smaller particles, damaging the marine environment and marine life, and entering the food chain.
"Plastics also act as sponges to other toxic chemicals already in the seas, concentrating areas of pollution.
“Removing plastics from the oceans is not currently feasible, but we must identify sources and effects because prevention is not only the better option, but cheaper than cleaning the oceans.”
The Fantastiko crew will work in support of scientists currently researching the sources of plastic pollution in the seaways, and their environmental impact, during the 17-day trip.
BTOWU's campaign partner and sponsor ABB will make the voyage data available via its online Marine Fleet portal, which is linked to BTOWU website.
BTOWU's audience will be able to follow the status of sailing expeditions through the website, which will present information relating to the types of plastic particles that are being found.
Image: By the Ocean we Unite vessel Fantastiko. Photo: courtesy of ABB Marine.