JFD, the leading global subsea operations and engineering company announces the appointment of Giovanni Corbetta as Managing Director. The appointment follows the recent merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex to create JFD, the world’s largest provider of subsea operations and engineering solutions, equipment and services for the defence and commercial markets.
Giovanni Corbetta joins JFD from DOF Subsea, the international oil and gas subsea services provider. Through a series of leadership roles, he brings a wealth of commercial and engineering experience, and has steered a number innovative international businesses through the process of driving growth and expansion. His breadth of skills and experience will play a key role as JFD continues to strive for further development in existing and new markets.
Over the past 12 months, JFD has realized significant growth. It was recently awarded a landmark £12.1m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence for the provision of the NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS), encompassing all aspects of operation and through-life support. The announcement came shortly after the company was awarded a contract by the Commonwealth of Australia for the long-term provision of the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine escape and rescue capability for five years, with further options through to 2024. JFD has also announced multiple acquisitions within recent months including the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, and the assets, and the pressurized submarine escape training school in Freemantle, Australia.
Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director, JFD commented:
“Following a number of significant contract wins and acquisitions, 2015 been a highly successful period for JFD. The merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex has allowed the newly formed JFD to utilize the wider breadth of skills, expertise and innovation within the businesses, and further invest in developing the products, services and capabilities for the benefit of customers worldwide.
“It is a great time to be joining the company and I am looking forward to working with this experienced team to further drive the global growth of the business and continually improve our services and capabilities.”
JFD operates from a strong global presence across all markets including Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, ensuring that it is able to respond quickly to emergent situations anywhere in the world. Opportunities exist for shared training, cross-fertilization of expertise, and commonality of approaches, which will serve to benefit the entire global submarine community.
OCEANS ’15 MTS/IEEE Washington, DC continues to add valuable content to the program designed to appeal to a wide variety of technical professionals, industry leaders, educators, policy makers and students. The annual fall conference and exposition, co-sponsored by the Marine Technology Society and the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, will be held October 19-22 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor.
The Advance Program is now available on the conference website. A number of workshops and special sessions will enhance the concurrent technical sessions that feature hundreds of peer-reviewed presentations.
Workshops will be held on Monday, October 19. There is no charge to attend a Workshop; however participants must sign up in advance via the conference registration page or at the Registration Desk to obtain an entrance badge.
Catalyzing Ocean Services in a World of Abundant Ocean Data – XPRIZE The workshop will bring together leaders in the nascent ocean services industry, government, and technology to brainstorm solutions for organizing and broadcasting the increasing amount of ocean data. The goal is to generate actions to catalyze the further growth of a potentially multi- billion dollar industry in ocean data products and services. Keynote speakers will include Dr. Rick Spinrad and Dr. Ralph Rayner.
Advancing Environmental Sensor Technology and Platform Integration for Improved Ocean Observations – Jake Sobin The workshop will highlight the different sensor technologies available for dissolved gas measurements, while also focusing on sensor carriers (platforms). In addition, the program will feature case studies and a hands-on sensor demonstration.
Latest Advancements in Underwater Imaging Technology – Fraser Dalgleish and Frank Caimi This half day workshop, hosted jointly by the MTS Underwater Imaging Committee and IEEE OES will include a handful of invited presentations describing the latest underwater imaging technologies, either under development or available as commercial products. The attendees, who will include representatives from academia, industry and government, will be engaged in discussion to identify areas of importance and potential markets for future imaging technologies.
The Evolution of Subsea Vehicles – Jim McFarlane The workshop will discuss the development of subsea systems for the offshore petroleum industry, starting with the manned submersible in the 1960s, followed closely by ROVs in the 1970s and AUVs in the 1980s. Subsequent markets were infiltrated with robotic systems that answered the demand, increased the safety, and still answer each market’s technical and challenging requirements.
Special sessions are integral parts of the conference and do not require separate registration. U.S. IOOS (Integrated Ocean Observing System) and the Maritime Alliance have partnered on two special sessions:
Ignite! A Lightning Round of Innovations, Discoveries, and Applications in Blue Tech! In this lively, fast-paced, 90-minute session on Tuesday afternoon, experts and hands-on users from federal, regional, and international agencies and associations will discuss the newest advances from the tech world, how they’re working in real-world marine applications, and how they’re propelling marine intelligence to the next level.
Town Hall Session on Marine Technology and Services in the Blue Economy On Wednesday morning, this Town Hall will offer public and private perspectives on new developments and technologies that are allowing us to work with the ocean in unprecedented ways, propelling the economic value of the seas forward, and making a huge impact on the global economy.
A variety of other special sessions and panels will be schedules throughout the Technical Program on Tuesday through Thursday:
Driving Technological Innovation through Ocean XPRIZEs – XPRIZE
A Panel on the Future of Long Duration Maritime Autonomy – Matthew Bays
Marine Planning & Data-Related Tools: Key Aspects of National Ocean Policy – Beth Kerttula, National Ocean Council
Identifying Common Themes in National Ocean Policies to Advance Global Ocean Science Collaboration through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) – Craig N. McLean, NOAA
OCEANS ’25 (and beyond) - Envisioning the Future of Marine Technology and Ocean Engineering – MTS/IEEE OCEANS ’15 Technical Committee
Policy and Planning for Responsible Offshore East Coast Development: Technological Considerations – Hank Lobe (Sonardyne/Severn Tech.), Ruth Perry (Shell Exploration and Prod. Co.)
The Importance of Collaborative Science and Technological Advances for Ocean Science and Offshore Energy Development – Ruth Perry (Shell Exploration and Prod. Co.), Hank Lobe (Sonardyne/Severn Tech.)
Town Hall Session on Promoting OceanSTEM and Blue Economy Workforce Development: Liesl Hotaling, Marine Technology Society, VP Education (co-sponsored by NOAA and The Maritime Alliance)
The Exhibition Hall will have a new attraction at OCEANS ’15. In addition to over 150 booths featuring the latest products, services and programs, twelve exhibitors will be showcasing their latest innovations during 30-minute presentations in the Product Theater. The Student Poster Contest also will be located in the Exhibition Hall where a diverse group of finalists from Canada, China, France, India, Italy and the U.S. will display their posters and discuss their projects.
Also new this year is the Career Panel planned for Monday to acquaint students with some of the many career options in the oceans field. Representatives from government, industry, and academia will give brief overviews of what they do, and there will be an opportunity to talk in small groups or one-on-one. This will provide a lead-in to the Conference Ice Breaker Reception, where the students may talk with other professionals from the full range of ocean-related careers.
And last, but not least, there will be fun or it wouldn’t be an OCEANS. Wednesday night’s Gala dinner will have a Capital Casino theme with a variety of gaming tables. The money won’t be real, so everyone can have the fun without the risk.
Information about the sponsoring societies can be found at: Marine Technology Society (www.mtsociety.org) and IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (www.oceanicengineering.org). MTS is an international non-profit professional society of ocean engineers, technologists, policy-makers, and educators with the mission to promote awareness, understanding, advancement and application of marine technology. IEEE/OES is an international non-profit professional society that focuses on all aspects of science, engineering, and technology that address research, development, and operations pertaining to all bodies of water.
DeepOcean has been awarded a Call-off contract for provision of ROV based Survey Services by Shell in the North Sea.
DeepOcean has long track record of ROV based survey services for North Sea oil and gas operators. This contract is for three years plus options. The contract was won in a fierce competition and reflects the current strong focus on cost efficient solutions in Shell’s operations.
”Shell in the Greater North Sea has been on our Client target list for a while now, and we are very pleased to receive this award. Also, we are keen to introduce our new generation high speed survey ROV vehicle - The Superior. By pushing survey speeds far beyond today’s standards for acoustic and visual data capture and processing, we expect Shell and our other Clients to see a direct effect on their overall survey cost in years to come” says Ottar Maeland, DeepOcean’s EVP Greater North Sea.
Recognized as a world leader in the provision of autonomous surface vehicles, ASV has been enlisted as part of the Thales-BAE consortium to develop and deliver the first complete operational unmanned mine countermeasures system.
The program seeks to offer a low risk, robust and reliable solution into the UK/French Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) requirement.
The USV capability to be provided by ASV has been proven and validated at sea through the Halcyon multi-role USV. The vehicle which was showcased at DSEI 2013 had its full autonomy capability validated in a demonstration to the UK MOD which took place in September 2014.
“Our Halcyon class of multi-role Autonomous Surface Vehicles has been developed over the course of our long standing relationship with Thales to offer the ideal solution to the MMCM program. Developed from the Halcyon design, the more complex and capable mark II offers greater efficiency, stability and an increased payload capacity” said ASV Managing Director Dan Hook.
Maritime autonomy is recognized as a key area of technological development reflected by the investment being made by the UK and French MOD into the development of an MCM solution centered on autonomous and unmanned systems. This MMCM program seeks to demonstrate the maturity of the industry provided autonomous solutions.
Broken down into various stages, the program output will be two identical systems for evaluation against several predefined operational scenarios. Following an initial de-risking study, detail design has now begun. This first official stage comprising a design study prior to system build is scheduled to run until the end of 2016. This will also involve working with the end user to define the requirement and place consideration on other external factors. Stages 2 and 3 will include the system manufacture and demonstrations.
ASV is a leading manufacturer of Unmanned and Autonomous Marine platforms with specialist expertise and experience in design, build, operation and maintenance. ASV provides solutions for commercial, defense and scientific applications in the UK and across the globe.
“More than any other individual past or present, Jane’s name is synonymous with the IMCA brand and the objectives of the association. Replacing Jane is therefore a big challenge, but one that I relish.” says Richard. “In these testing times for our industry I am delighted to be joining an organization I know well, whose track record I respect, and which is firmly committed to the principle of helping its 1,000+ members in more than 60 countries add value rather than cost to their ongoing business around the globe.
“IMCA’s commitment to increased safety and efficiency throughout our sector will remain at the heart of all that is done by me and our talented team of Technical Advisers. So too will my engagement with our member companies, with the aim of ensuring that our work programs not only meet, but exceed their expectations.”
In welcoming Richard to his role, Jane Bugler, who is also Acting Chief Executive of IMCA, says: “Richard’s track record speaks for itself. He has been committed to marine contracting from the moment he joined the industry, and has seen IMCA at work ‘from the other side’ having held many committee positions, the most recent of which was as Vice Chairman of IMCA’s Remote Systems & ROV Division Management Committee. He will certainly be able to ‘hit the ground running’. I wish him well, and know IMCA’s technical program is in safe hands. I am firmly of the view that Richard will greatly enjoy his new role.
“My role over the past 18 years has been responsibility for our extensive and varied technical program and for liaison between IMCA and external organizations, including other trade associations such as OGP, OCIMF and IADC; regulators such as PSA, HSE, and USCG, and other relevant organizations. Naturally my role has included working with our expanding technical team, co-ordinating their work with IMCA's committees and workgroups, the preparation of technical guidance and briefing papers, review of third-party drafts, oversight of technical audits (both of applicant members and establishments seeking recognition of certain training courses), and communicating our work widely.”
About Richard Benzie Richard joined the industry in 1981 working first as a Mud-logging Equipment Field Service Engineer. He then moved into ROV operations and spent eight years with Wharton Williams (2W) Ltd before moving to Rockwater Ltd as ROV Project Manager and Subsea Manager, spanning a period of nearly five years. Six years at Stolt Offshore then followed where he became Group Manager – Mobile Assets after roles as ROV Support Engineer and ROV Manager.
He was Asset Manager at Thales Geosolutions at the start of the century and in 2001 Richard moved to Technip Offshore where he spent seven years on the DSVi Contract, a multi-Client Saturation Diving call-off Project; initially as Project Engineer, subsequently as Team Leader and finally as Project Manager; before moving to Subsea 7 as Global ROV Manager, from 2009 until 2014. Latterly at Eunoia Services Aberdeen he has undertaken business and operations management consultancy in the oil and gas subsea sector before taking up the position of Global ROV Services Manager at Forum Energy Technologies.
In the contract worth 10M Swedish Crowns (SEK), Hexatronic will supply approximately 20 km of rock armored submarine ribbon cable, for the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth installation project. The three layer armored cable is designed to withstand demanding undersea conditions.
Hampshire based A-2-Sea Solutions is a global submarine installer within the fiber optic subsea and subaqueous industries utilizing their own land, beach and marine joint technology. Hexatronic offers solutions for submarine cables and the entire passive fiber infrastructure including design, manufacturing and supply.
“The contract with A-2-Sea Solutions is important for Hexatronic as we break into a new market with our comprehensive and future-proof submarine cable solutions. This agreement strengthens Hexatronic’s global presence in the subsea telecom cables industry, “says Henrik Larsson Lyon, CEO of Hexatronic Group AB.
Industry-first features include Built-In System Redundancy, Unified Inbox and Advanced Monitoring to enhance existing Cospas-Sarsat satellite search and rescue systems.
McMurdo, the most trusted name in emergency readiness and response, has announced PRISMA MCCNet, a state-of-the-art software solution with several industry-first features to improve the Cospas-Sarsat satellite-aided search and rescue process.
The innovative software, which is part of McMurdo’s new suite of PRISMA (Preparation, Response, Identification, Surveillance, Management, Acceleration) software solutions, provides Mission Control Center (MCC) operators with critical tools to better identify, locate and manage distress situations.
McMurdo’s PRISMA MCCNet software streamlines Mission Control Center operations with industry-first features including built-in system redundancy, a Unified Inbox and advanced monitoring tools.
In a typical Cospas-Sarsat search and rescue scenario, a distress signal from an emergency beacon is sent via satellite to a fixed ground receiving station or Local User Terminal. The nearby MCC confirms the emergency, analyzes location data and provides this information to the various Rescue Coordination Centers for the actual rescue operation.
PRISMA MCC’s improved functionality includes built-in system redundancy, unified communications and automated reporting to improve the MCC operation and streamline the search and rescue process. The international Cospas-Sarsat satellite system is best known for detecting and locating emergency beacons activated by aircraft, ships and backcountry hikers in distress and has been credited with saving 37,000 lives since 1982.
“PRISMA MCCNet provides Mission Control Center operators with a powerful, comprehensive and reliable software tool that provides the most accurate data and most up-to-date information to expedite the search and rescue process,” said Jacob Blankenship, Search and Rescue Business Manager for McMurdo. “With several advanced features and innovative functions based on our years of experience working with the leading search and rescue authorities around the world, the end result will be faster decision making and ultimately, more lives saved,” he added.
PRISMA MCCNet provides significant improvements in several key areas to enhance mission control center operations including:
High Availability with Support for Automatic Failover – PRISMA MCCNet includes new automatic failover and built-in redundancy features to maximize availability and uptime of the search and rescue system.
Unified Inbox and Communications – Easy to use and organize, PRISMA MCCNet’s Unified Inbox displays all actionable events that require operator interactions including beacon alerts, narrative messages, or system level alarms on a single screen. This information, which traditionally required the use of multiple screens, can be sent easily and reliably to rescue authorities via multiple communications protocols and redundant link transmission.
Advanced Monitoring and Reporting – PRISMA MCCNet’s built-in automatic diagnostic and analytical tools continuously detect, trace, and report malfunctioning components and processes. Quality Management System (QMS) analysis tools provide real-time tracking of system performance.
Client-Server Architecture – Unlike traditional MCC systems, PRISMA MCCNet is based on a secure and scalable client-server architecture allowing multiple MCC workstations to access consistent data and information from a centralized or distributed server configuration.
Commissionable LEOSAR/GEOSAR/MEOSAR MCC – PRISMA MCCNet was developed in close association with Cospas-Sarsat, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and other leading search and rescue authorities. This ensures a seamless commission/certification process for LEOSAR/GEOSAR/MEOSAR MCCs.
“The launch of PRISMA MCCNet is yet another milestone in McMurdo’s journey to become the global leader in emergency readiness and response,” said Jean-Yves Courtois, McMurdo CEO. “It provides a solid foundation upon which we can build a world-class, integrated ecosystem of products, technologies and services for preventing emergencies, protecting assets and saving lives.”
McMurdo provides the world’s only complete, end-to-end emergency readiness and response solution including distress beacons, search and rescue satellite infrastructure, mission control and rescue coordination centers and maritime domain awareness solutions including coastal surveillance and vessel monitoring systems. The world’s leading search and rescue authorities in the U.S. (NOAA and NASA), Australia (Australia Maritime Safety Authority), New Zealand (Maritime New Zealand), Cyprus, South Africa, Argentina and other countries use McMurdo search and rescue systems.
PRISMA MCCNet is available now. Pricing will depend on specific configuration requirements. For more information about McMurdo and its ecosystem of emergency readiness and response solutions, visit www.mcmurdogroup.com
SeeByte is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Green as SeeByte’s new Senior Program Manager. Nick has come on board as SeeByte seeks to have a greater presence within the maritime community on the South of England. Nick’s responsibilities will include supporting and developing SeeByte’s customer base in the South Coast, with a particular focus on the Military and Oceanographic markets.
Nick joins SeeByte with twenty years of sales experience within the maritime industry. Bob Black, CEO at SeeByte, commented “SeeByte has always been and always will be committed to putting our customers first. As our customer base has grown in the South of England we believe having Nick join our team in Southampton will allow us to provide the best level of customer support. With his extensive experience and contacts within the industry, I am confident that Nick will be a great addition to the SeeByte team”.
Nick commented “I’ve been familiar with SeeByte for many years now and have always been impressed with their product offering. SeeByte is involved in many cutting-edge programs so I feel that this will be an exciting career move. The role itself offers huge potential to grow SeeByte’s business, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead”.
In addition to their offices in Edinburgh, Scotland and San Diego, California, SeeByte now have a presence in Southampton, UK.
Proserv Group Llc (“Proserv”), a leading energy services company, has acquired Nautronix, a leader in the supply of subsea digital acoustic communication products and positioning services to the oil and gas industry, based in Aberdeen, United Kingdom. Proserv is a portfolio company of Riverstone Holdings LLC, an energy-focused private equity firm based in New York.
Employing 120 people, Nautronix is headquartered in Aberdeen where the main research and development, and manufacturing facilities are located. The company, which also has a Houston base, is internationally recognized for its through-water digital acoustic wireless communications and positioning systems, diver communications and vessel systems whilst also providing survey services. The technology focused organization which operates across the global subsea sector provides a range of products and services including; NASNet®, NASCoM, NASDrill, NASDive and Survey Services.
Proserv and Nautronix chief operating officers David Lamont (left) and Mark Patterson join forces through acquisition
The transaction, which includes Nautronix chief operating officer Mark Patterson joining Proserv, heightens Proserv’s position as a leading player in the controls and communications market and presents the company with the opportunity to expand its offering by providing fully integrated subsea controls, communications, positioning and survey services.
David Lamont, Proserv’s chief executive officer, said: “I am thrilled to welcome the Nautronix team to Proserv. We have been working together on bringing the two companies together for over a year, and while times in our industry are challenging, the rationale and benefits to all stakeholders including employees, shareholders and our clients remain as strong, if not stronger than ever.
“I am also excited to have Mark join the senior management team at Proserv. Mark will lead the Nautronix team through the transition and integration process as well as assuming his senior global position as head of strategy and new ventures for the Proserv Group. Individually, the two companies have been doing well in these more demanding times; together, however, we are much stronger, bringing a combined technology platform that is both unique and of great potential to deliver truly game changing solutions to our customers to meet the challenges and more importantly deliver the opportunities facing the industry today and in the future.”
Mark Patterson, chief executive officer of Nautronix, added “It was important for us to find the right company to partner with and we are delighted that it’s Proserv. Strategically, this is a fantastic opportunity for Nautronix as we can leverage from the increased exposure globally. That, combined with our considerable experience in the drilling, subsea and survey market, presents us with considerable opportunities going forward. We relish joining David and the Proserv team in building what we feel will be a compelling service offering, particularly with the significant cost savings and life-of-field benefits our products and services can bring within an increasingly challenging market.”
Proserv, which is headquartered in Aberdeen, UK, is an integrated energy services company working with clients to meet their subsea, drilling and production challenges. A company that is passionate about technology, Proserv has a large global footprint employing some 1800 people in five regions.
Riverstone is an energy and power-focused private investment firm founded in 2000 with over $30 billion of equity capital raised. Riverstone conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration & production, midstream, oilfield services, power, and renewable sectors of the energy industry.
With offices in New York, London, Houston, and Mexico City, Riverstone has committed approximately $29 billion to more than 110 investments in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Due to customer demand we are pleased to announce that we have established offices in the United Kingdom and the USA.
The United Kingdom office is headed by Keith Wallace who has been appointed General Manager – Europe & the Middle East. Keith, an accomplished Metocean Scientist, is a leader in his field and is well regarded throughout the region.
The Houston, USA office is headed by Chris Carter who has been appointed Vice President – Americas. Chris has a strong technical sales solutions focus with autonomous marine robotic equipment. In addition, Blue Ocean Monitoring will be basing its Slocum gliders and other platforms in each of the new regions and relocate other gliders from its global fleet as local requirements dictate.
Simon Illingworth, Blue Ocean Monitoring’s Group Managing Director said “We look forward to welcoming Keith and Chris to our team. This allows us to better support our clients globally and we are excited to open these new offices”.
Subsea UK has launched a new support service to bring fresh, young talent into the subsea sector by making it easier for businesses to recruit apprentices.
Research conducted by the industry body which represents the UK’s £9billion subsea sector revealed the barriers for SMEs in setting up apprenticeships. These are broadly the time and cost involved in what is perceived as a complex process.
Subsea UK’s scheme will provide financial support and specific help with making the process simpler so that small firms can benefit from apprentices and develop the next generation of subsea workers.
Subsea UK chief executive, Neil Gordon said: “The majority of our 320 members are smaller sized companies who are put off recruiting apprentices because they lack the HR knowledge and resources to deal with the overall recruitment and management process. Our findings revealed that they often turn to training providers or organizations but often this doesn’t work for them. The research showed that the most effective approach to make it easier for these companies to take on apprentices would be practical, one-to-one consultancy to support them through the process rather than producing generic guidance which is already available through other skills organizations.”
Subsea UK will offer tailored support to individual companies to help them with the overall recruitment process, development of training plans, setting clear roles and responsibilities for on-the-job training and conducting assessments. By working directly with companies, Subsea UK can makes sure their needs are aligned to the apprenticeship program and help them access funding.
Mr. Gordon added: “By working with companies on a one-to-one basis, we will help lift the barriers that currently prevent them from launching apprenticeship schemes to secure a supply of people with the skills and competences they need, which are often not available on the external job market.”
“We hope that this dedicated service will encourage more companies to invest in the next generation and help make them more effective, productive and competitive by addressing skills needs directly.”
Spring 2015 P-CableTM High Resolution 3D (“HR3D”) and 2D (“HR2D”) operations for TGS in the Barents Sea have now been completed on schedule thanks to a combination of excellent operational performance, minimum downtime and favorable weather conditions.
The program of work comprised both extended regional coverage with HR2D data acquisition, combined with targeted HR3D blocks, as part of the ongoing development of TGS’ multi-client library in the Barents Sea. The aim of this season’s work was to acquire speculative HR2D data in new blocks, to provide an insight into the potential of P-CableTM data and also shallow target resolution in previously identified focus areas. The 60-day program, which commenced on the 3rd May 2015, acquired totals of 4,630km HR2D and 325km2 HR3D data.
Anna Ward, Operations Project Manager commented: “We have seen first-rate results from the HR2D/3D (P-CableTM) surveys this season with the best recorded production figures and lowest technical downtime hours in the 4 years that WGP has been providing HR3D (P-CableTM) surveys. This is in no uncertain part due to the continuous development and improvement to the in-sea equipment that WGP has achieved together with the equipment manufacturer (Geometrics Inc.).
The survey program maintained WGP’s goal towards ‘zero harm’ with excellent HSE performance including zero HSE incidents, while the working relationship between the WGP and Vestland crew onboard the ‘Bergen Surveyor’ has gone from strength to strength with this collaboration helping achieve this exceptional performance”.
The Ocean Cleanup successfully concluded the Mega Expedition with the arrival of a first group of vessels including the fleet’s 171ft mothership in the port of San Francisco. Using a series of measurement techniques, including trawls and aerial surveys, the fleet of close to 30 vessels sampled the concentration of plastic during its month-long voyage through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is in preparation for the large-scale cleanup of the area, set to begin in 2020.
The Mega Expedition’s primary goal is to accurately determine how much plastic is floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by executing the largest ocean research expedition in history. This was also the first time large pieces of plastic, such as ghost nets and Japanese tsunami debris, have been quantified.
“I’ve studied plastic in all the world’s oceans, but never seen any area as polluted as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” said Dr. Julia Reisser, Lead Oceanographer at The Ocean Cleanup. “With every trawl we completed, thousands of miles from land, we just found lots and lots of plastic.”
Although the samples collected during the expedition still have to be analyzed, preliminary findings indicate a higher-than-expected volume of large plastic objects floating in the ocean.
This underscores the urgency of The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to clean it up, according to CEO and founder Boyan Slat: “The vast majority of the plastic in the garbage patch is currently locked up in large pieces of debris, but UV light is breaking it down into much more dangerous microplastics, vastly increasing the amount of microplastics over the next few decades if we don’t clean it up. It really is a ticking time bomb.”
During press conference in San Francisco harbor, Boyan announced that The Ocean Cleanup was able to conduct the Mega Expedition thanks to major financial contributions from entrepreneur-philanthropists, including Salesforce chairman, CEO and founder Marc Benioff: "Protecting the oceans should be a priority for all of Earth's citizens. The Ocean Cleanup is taking an innovative approach to preserving one of our most critical resources and raising visibility of this global challenge."