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IOMSR first flag state to partner Eyesea ocean clean up

IOMSR first flag state to partner Eyesea ocean clean up

(Posted on 29/04/21)

The Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) has become the first flag state to formally back the Eyesea initiative, the not for profit organisation formed last year to map marine pollution.

The move will see the IOMSR director Cameron Mitchell become an ambassador of Eyesea while the registry, which is home to 10,000 seafarers aboard more than 380 vessels, has become a member. Eyesea aims to tackle pollution of the seas by collecting data in a newly developed app and reporting incidents of oil spills, rubbish and debris to NGOs like Beach Buddies and Government organisations to action clean ups.

Cameron, a marine engineer and former seafarer of 17 years, said ocean pollution is a cause he and the IOMSR team care passionately about. He said he personally witnessed the devastating effect of pollution on the marine environment in his time at sea, particularly the accumulation of plastic waste in ports and coastal regions as well as witnessing large accumulations within the pacific ocean now commonly known as the notorious Great Pacific Garbage patch. He said he wants to mobilise the thousands of seafarers sailing under the IOMSR flag to document and report instances of pollution they witness. He said he will be encouraging seafarers to use the Eyesea app as well as the IOMSR ‘Crew Matters’ seafarer welfare app to capture examples of pollution.

“At the IOMSR we care about the sea and our values very much align to those of Eyesea and what it is aiming to achieve,” he said. “We believe by partnering Eyesea we can make a genuine difference and actually do something to tackle the terrible pollution of our coastline and oceans worldwide. Eyesea has an international reach and deserves maximum support.”

Cameron said the IOMSR has taken part in Beach Buddies initiatives through the Isle of Man Maritime cluster. He said members of the Isle of Man Maritime Cluster had also recently help trial a beta version of the Eyesea app on the Isle of Man after the island was battered by storms and high tides which washed up fishing nets and large amounts of rubbish and debris in March. A joint clean-up event organised by Beach Buddies and PlasticBusters subsequently collected 520 kilogrammes of trash littered over a large area of Douglas Beach on the self-governing British Crown Dependency.

Eyesea founder Graeme Somerville-Ryan welcomed the IOMSR to the Eyesea community. He said the sheer number of IOMSR seafarers and ships would support Eyesea’s long term aim to model the effects of currents, wind and tide on the movement and location of pollution. From here Eyesea will develop pollution heat maps to target clean up efforts.

“We believe there is a major role for Eyesea in helping communities efficiently and effectively care for their coastal environment,” he said. “But to achieve that we need the support of organisations with the clout and reach of the IOMSR. The shipping industry, with our tech and our reach, can provide key support to community and government clean-up initiatives.

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