Local scientists, teachers and interns to join Sargasso Sea science expeditions
A visiting research vessel is hoped to inspire a greater focus on the Sargasso Sea with expeditions and a series of events.
The 72ft S
ea Dragon, operated by Pangaea Explorations, arrived in St George’s on Saturday, and is scheduled to operate two expeditions from the Island over the next three weeks.
The vessel has sailed around 50,000 miles over the last two years as part of a series of research expeditions in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Alliance for the Sargasso Sea (BASS) said: “The boat provides a superb platform of rugged capability, capacity and efficiency with a naturally low environmental footprint — perfect for the type of remote sailing expeditions she undertakes.
Sea Dragon sails all over the world’s oceans, from the Sargasso Sea expedition to look for marine plastics to a transit of the Southern Ocean.”
The spokeswoman said the Sargasso Sea is home to thousands of unique invertebrates and fish and a vital spawning and feeding ground for a wide variety of species.
“While it may not be apparent at first glance, the sargassum is home to an incredible diversity of life,” the spokeswoman said. “These floating islands support a broad community and are vital to the survival of many threatened and endangered species.
“The health of Bermuda’s fisheries and broader marine environment depend on the health of the Sargasso Sea and its strange mats of seaweed.”
Sea Dragon was open to visitors on Front Street yesterday in advance of the first of two scheduled expeditions tomorrow.
To celebrate the occasion, boats are invited to join in a flotilla escort as the
Sea Dragon leaves Hamilton and sails along North Shore to the channel off St George’s.
The spokeswoman said: “Any size boat can participate. Be part of the fun to raise community awareness of the importance of being the only land mass in the Sargasso Sea, and why we should care.”
The crew will be joined on the expedition by local and visiting scientists, interns, teachers, advocacy groups and filmmakers to record, collect, photograph and preserve some of the most iconic life in the Sargasso Sea.
More events will take place over the next two weeks, including a World Oceans Day cocktail Party between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Bacardi on May 31.
On June 7, a public summit will be held at Bermuda College’s small lecture hall between 9.30am and 12.30pm, and a 5 Gyres cocktail meet and greet and lecture will take place at 7pm at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo.
A second open day on the
Sea Dragon will take place on June 8 at Number One Dock.