Shipping firm backs marine research project
A Bermudian shipping firm has thrown its support behind a groundbreaking scientific research project to track and film marine life.
Bermuda International Shipping Ltd has joined with PwC, The Atlantic Conservation Partnership and Henrik Schroder from iTDNA as a sponsor of the Ocean Tech project.
The project will employ state-of-the-art underwater vehicles and is expected to provide new data that could lead to the establishment of marine protected areas.
“We are very pleased that BISL has agreed to support the Ocean Tech project,” Ocean Tech executive director, Andrew Smith, said. “As you can imagine we will be shipping in a huge amount of equipment and vehicles from the UK and the USA, consequently a mission shipping partner is essential.
“BISL have very kindly agreed to donate their full set of services to the project for free.”
Ocean Tech will use two REMUS 100 autonomous underwater vehicles that are designed to study the marine life around Bermuda.
The vehicles are fitted with sensors, scanners and 360 degree virtual reality video cameras and can follow marine animals autonomously to reveal their deepest secrets. The team hope to follow and film Galapagos and dusky sharks, tiger sharks, giant tarpon, spotted eagle rays, lion fish and humpback whales with the vehicles. George Butterfield, manager of BISL's agent, Meyer Freight, said: “We are extremely proud to support the Ocean Tech project; the oceans are a vital part to Bermuda's economy and its ecology. Our business exists because of the ocean; as such we feel we have a responsibility, as does everyone, to help ensure its effective management and protection.
“Ocean Tech is a unique platform that can let us see how and why marine species use the marine environment. This will help governments effectively and efficiently manage and protect the places that may need protecting,” said Mr Butterfield.
The Ocean Tech team plan to produce a documentary film of their work and also create global and local exhibits as well as an educational programmes.
Fred Barritt, vice-president of BISL, added “We all need to become better stewards of our ocean for the sake of our children and children's children. Ocean Tech is a fantastic way for many of us to do that.”