B&G, designer and manufacturers of sailing electronics, has announced a collaboration with the Arctic Whale project, which aim is to research and broadcast the effects of marine plastic pollution on the ocean and the thread they represent for marine mammals such as orcas and dolphins. Using Barba sailboat as a platform for research institutions, photographers and storytellers and equipped with B&G on board, the Arctic Whale will conduct an Arctic roundtrip from May to July 2019. Whales and other sea mammals will play the lead roles as messengers from the ocean.
The Arctic Whale team will utilise innovative research methods that are easy to visualise and document. Amongst other things, the team will use drones to capture whale breath samples and take tissue samples from blue whales to check if they contain nanoplastics. More traditional research methods such as micro plastic trawling and mapping of macro pollutants will also be used, as well as conducting hydrophone recordings to better understand the biology of the species. The research will be done in cooperation with the University of Iceland and the University of Oslo.
Barba sailboat is fully equipped with B&G, to help it navigate the treacherous waters of the Arctic Ocean.
“Our goal is to provide a platform for scientists and storytellers, to help highlight the challenge of plastic pollution facing our oceans. The journey will be greatly aided by the support of B&G, as it allows for better operations in the field”, says co-founder of Arctic Whale and captain onboard the Barba vessel, marine biologist Andreas B. Heide.
The story between Barba vessel and B&G started in 2015 when the brand supported a previous expedition to the Norwegian Arctic looking to document orcas.
“The B&G equipment never lets us down” said Andreas B. Heide at the time.
For this expedition, B&G has provided the expected software updates and product replacements, as long as several environmental sensors as per Barba’s crew request. The data captured by these sensors will be uploaded in real time to the cloud via satellite thanks to a tracker, to further enrich the information available for scientific research.
The equipment on board:
Sandra Ness, co-founder and head of Arctic Whale’s onshore operations, summarises the goal of the project, as “we want to bring the ocean plastic problem to the people – and make the research and documentation easily available to all scientists around the world that are interested in tackling this huge problem. Our dedicated and respected team of photographers and videographers will help us achieve this.