SeaKeepers Spotlight
SeaKeepers partners with Florida International University on the new SARAH Initiative
The SARAH Initiative aims to help analyze the gravity of micro plastic pollution. Testing the equipment needed was done aboard D/Y Shredder on January 18 th, 2019. Pictured below are Capt. Morné Petersen, Dr. Mark Bond, Director of Development of FIU CASE, Gill Rodrigues , and Tony Gilbert, Program Director of SeaKeepers. 

Marine plastic pollution is a contemporary issue. Plastic in daily life (particularly single-use plastics) are causing severe ecological harm through careless disposal. The tremendous increases in production of plastic materials has led to an accumulation of plastic pollution worldwide. SeaKeepers has partnered with Florida International University to launch a new Initiative SARAH.
S - Sample: Conduct net tows and collect samples with the kits provided
A – Aggregate: After each net tow, rinse contents from the net into sample filters, label, and seal filters
R – Return: After each voyage, the samples are packaged and shipped back to the SARAH program research team at FIU
A – Analyze: Researchers will analyze the density, type, and size of plastic particles and archive the results in a database
H – Help: By collecting these data, you will help researchers quantify and map marine plastic debris and help stakeholders end this current epidemic
SeaKeepers aims to have kits for distribution to yachts by Summer of 2019.
Scientist Led Expedition
The International SeaKeepers Society teamed up with Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his team from the Shark Research and Conservation Program (SRC), as well as Dr. James Sulikowski of the Sulikowski Shark and Fish Research Lab. The team set out aboard D/Y Andiamo to find and identify pregnant tiger sharks and determine where and when they give birth using new technologies to ensure gravid females and the next generations are protected.*

Scientist Led Expedition
On December 19th, 2018, t ogether with scientists from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 20 water samples and 10 collection points were completed in the Straits of Malacca aboard D/Y Luzerne. The data collected will help researchers and scientists understand the level of pollution in the marine environment.*
Educational Outreach
On December 7th, 2018, SeaKeepers and the Miami Seaquarium partnered up to take a group of homeschoolers on a field trip aboard Fleet Miami’s Julia. SeaKeepers took water samples from Biscayne Bay as part of the Biscayne Bay Water Watch program (BBWW).*
Scientist Led Expedition
On November 15th, 2018, the International SeaKeepers Society teamed up with Beneath the Waves to conduct shark tagging, as well as retrieving and deploying acoustic receivers aboard D/Y Shredder. *
Scientist Led Expedition
On November 9th-10th, 2018, SeaKeepers, teamed up with members of the Boswell Marine Ecology & Acoustics Lab from Florida International University aboard D/Y Andiamo to deploy their sonar equipped autonomous survey vehicle (ASV) with the aim of surveying Goliath grouper spawning aggregations.

Citizen Science
On November 3rd, 2018, SeaKeepers took water samples from Biscayne Bay aboard a Fleet Miami Tender. The BBWW is a citizen-science based volunteer water quality monitoring program developed and managed by the UF/IFAS (University of Florida | Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Sea Grant Extension Program in Miami-Dade County.*
Scientist Led Expedition
On September 29 th , 2018, 30 volunteer divers from Malaysia and Singapore participated in the Helping Hands Dive @ Redang II, a collaboration between Laguna Redang Island Resort, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and The International SeaKeepers Society, Asia to protect the coral reefs on Redang Island, Terengganu, Malaysia.*
*Detailed information will be available on our new website coming soon!
In The Loop
Emily Penn recently presented on plastics pollution at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Miami on January 12th, 2019. Emily's efforts are funded by 2017 SeaKeeper of the Year, Wendy Schmidt. Her vessel S/V Sea Dragon is part of the Pangaea Exploration program. It was a sobering lecture on one of the biggest problems facing planet earth: The proliferation of plastics which are finding their way into the world's oceans. We applaud her efforts on raising awareness and share below some of the points made in her lecture, which provide a sense of the scope and seriousness of the issue.
  • Every piece of plastic ever made is somewhere on planet earth today. It does not go away. It may be recycled but it is still here. 80% of this plastic rubbish comes from land.
  • 8 million tons of plastic makes its way into to the oceans every year, and only 9 percent gets recycled
  • The bigger bits of the plastic are breaking down into micro plastics which then enter the food chain as marine life ingests the smaller particles.
  • She has identified 35 banned carcinogenic chemicals in plastics. Emily had her own blood analyzed, and 29 of these carcinogens were found
  • There are 5 large plastic gyres in the world's oceans, the largest gyre is the South Pacific gyre.
  • She is now planning future Exxpeditions /All Women Voyages and expects to have 300 women at sea by 2020.
For more information on supporting her efforts visit:
Through The Porthole
Tiger Shark Sonogram
Our most recent shark research trip aboard D/Y Andiamo set out to find and identify pregnant tiger sharks and determine where and when they give birth using new technologies to ensure gravid females and the next generations are protected. Once it was determined via ultrasound that a tiger shark was pregnant, she was fitted with a special type of tag that activates upon giving birth, providing information about shark reproduction that has not been available till now. 
Fun Facts: Tiger Sharks have two uteruses and can carry up to 40 pups in a given pregnancy!

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