SeaKeepers, UMT Ocean Monitoring Project Call for Citizen Scientists

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) and the International SeaKeepers Society Asia have initiated the UMT Ocean Monitoring Project, a citizen science challenge that builds on the 2 our bodies’ collaboration on the Laguna Redang Island Resort’s coral transplant programme (see Yacht Style Issue 44).

The Discovery Yacht Halo cruised from Langkawi to Johor and collected over 20 water samples from 13 stations along the Straits of Malacca.

The Discovery Yacht Halo cruised from Langkawi to Johor and picked up over 20 water samples from 13 stations alongside the Straits of Malacca

As one of many world’s most populated areas, Southeast Asia has made a major influence in the direction of marine plastic air pollution, but questions concerning the diploma of plastic air pollution in its waters nonetheless abound. To reply such questions, on-site information 
is essential to assist researchers and scientists consider the extent of air pollution in our marine surroundings.

To collect such information, the Ocean Monitoring Project was initiated, with the UMT-SeaKeepers consortium working  with volunteers from the SeaKeepers Discovery Yachts programme to gather water samples in seas over totally different seasons and areas. The help of the non-public yachts reduces prices and permits the scientists to focus extra time and funds on analysis.

Geographically, the challenge goals to cowl waters surrounding Peninsular and East Malaysia together with the Straits of Malacca, South China Sea and Sulu-Sulawesi Sea. The challenge began final September and can span two years by way of to 2020, involving quarterly pattern collections in September, December, March and June.

The first sampling featured Kirsten Bennett and Joe Cumming on the Discovery Yacht Halo, as they cruised from Langkawi to Johor and picked up over 20 water samples (250ml every) from 13 stations alongside the Straits of Malacca.

In preparation, Joe and Kirsten have been briefed by Dr James Tan and Dr Poh Seng Chee, the challenge’s lead scientists, who outlined the usual working procedures and strategies for accumulating the water samples.

Dr Poh Seng Chee of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

Dr Poh Seng Chee of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu is main the Ocean Monitoring Project

The scientists plotted the specified areas for sampling stations and the crusing route, and offered gear akin to sampling bottles and plankton nets. As Halo sailed the size of the west coast to Kukup Island off Johor, water pattern assortment factors have been deliberate at intervals of 45nm topic to climate, water depth, tide, present and plenty of different components.

Back within the UMT laboratories, collected samples have been examined for a number of scientific features such because the abundance of major producer (e.g. phytoplankton), in addition to marine plastic supplies that happen along with the first producers.

More information and evaluation will assist to
fill essential information gaps such because the prevalence of marine plastic air pollution in Southeast Asia, seasonal dispersion patterns and extra importantly the state of plastic air pollution within the human meals internet.

Collections of such samples are essential to understanding the seasonal variation of our ocean circumstances and will probably be disseminated to offer a greater understanding of marine plastic air pollution. The analysis findings can even help the event of recent insurance policies and methods to battle towards ocean air pollution.

A plankton net used for water sampling in the UMT Ocean Monitoring Project, organised with SeaKeepers Asia

A plankton web used for water sampling within the UMT Ocean Monitoring Project, organised with SeaKeepers Asia

The proprietor of Luzerne volunteered his yacht for the sampling alongside the Straits of Malacca and we consider there will probably be extra serving to palms and vessels to make sure the completion of this challenge.

Other areas to be monitored embody the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the shoreline of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo, and distant islands together with Perak northwest of Penang and Layang-Layang north of Miri.

To obtain the challenge’s objectives, steady help and the involvement of residents is vital. Every little bit helps matter in safeguarding our ocean and every of us can play a job in it.

Helping palms and yachts wanted!

If you’re to be a part of the continued UMT Ocean Monitoring Project, please contact [email protected] for additional info.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

Representing the marine-focused Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, the UMT staff spearheading the Ocean Monitoring Project contains Dr Poh Seng Chee, an environmental chemist, marine biologists Dr James Tan Chun Hong and Dr Muhammad Hafiz Borkhanuddin, and Dr Siti Nurtahirah Jaafar, a biochemist. Dr Poh is main the challenge and his function is to evaluate and advise the general public about how chemical compounds transfer by way of the surroundings and their results on human well being and the surroundings itself.

SeaKeepers Asia

The International SeaKeepers Society is a non-profit organisation specializing in the well being of the world’s oceans and local weather. SeaKeepers Asia was launched in 2016 by Board Member Julian Chang, an energetic member of the yachting and delivery trade in Singapore and China, and his spouse Sandra. Building upon established worldwide programming, the Asia chapter’s mission is to save lots of the oceans by making use of the SeaKeepers motto: Research, Educate, Protect and Restore.

Note: The authentic model of this text appeared in Yacht Style Issue 45

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