• Valeport extends its support to The Ocean Warrior project: a groundbreaking initiative poised to advance the horizons of marine science

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Valeport extends its support to The Ocean Warrior project: a groundbreaking initiative poised to advance the horizons of marine science

Sep 01 2023

Embarking on a voyage aimed at deepening the scientific understanding of the Arctic marine environment and the ramifications of global climate fluctuations, a group of scientists and "citizen scientists" will set forth from Svalbard at the beginning of September, aboard Europe’s largest wooden schooner.

The visionary concept of Ocean Warrior was the concept of the internationally renowned explorer, Jim McNeill, who is famed for spearheading scientific ventures into the Arctic for more than two decades. McNeill's advisory roles encompass illustrious natural history programs like the BBC's acclaimed production "Frozen Planet."

Primarily conceived to amass critical scientific measurements from remote sectors of the Arctic Ocean, Ocean Warrior endeavours to build an enriched panorama of the ongoing transformations attributed to climate change and allied factors. Moreover, this initiative assumes the pivotal role of corroborating satellite-acquired data through on-ground validation.

During the initial ten-day phase of the expedition, spanning from September 1st to September 11th, the team, comprising 18 members encompassing crew, scientists, and citizen scientists, is entrusted with acquainting themselves with the vessel and its capabilities. This orientation is essential to optimise the potential for capturing scientific data. Central to the expedition's goals is the installation and assessment of an array of scientific and technological equipment, encompassing weather stations, FerryBox systems, CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth) profilers, Bathymetry equipment, communications tools, and safety mechanisms. Additionally, an online dashboard is slated for creation, designed to communicate the findings and chronicle narratives through digital and broadcast mediums.

The project has garnered robust backing from Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), an eminent global organisation specialising in marine research, as well as Valeport, acknowledged for its design and production of oceanographic and hydrographic instrumentation. Additional contributors include Mole Energy, Dartmoor Brewery, and Henri Lloyd.

Over the forthcoming decade, Ocean Warrior's itinerary encompasses voyages to less-travelled segments of the ocean between June and October each year, spanning a cumulative distance of 10,000 nautical miles annually. This ambitious endeavour aims to amass data pertaining to a spectrum of pivotal indicators, encompassing water quality, plankton distribution, eDNA (environmental DNA) analysis, salinity levels, and oceanic acidity.

Through this concerted effort, the scientific community aspires to attain heightened clarity concerning the velocity of ongoing shifts, their ramifications for marine ecosystems, and the prospective trajectory of the Arctic domain, which significantly impacts its ecological diversity, populace, and economies reliant upon its resources.

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