Four years ago, YachtAid Global, the non-profit connecting superyachts and communities in need, established Operation Swimway. The initiative accelerates investments into ocean-health research and conservation. Recently, YachtAid Global and Seahawk wrapped up a 10-day science expedition in Mexican waters.
Operation Swimway further engages yachts to serve as host platforms for scientific research and conservation projects. The owners and crews can work side by side with the scientists, too. Specifically, they can help research and study sharks, manta rays, turtles, billfish, and other pelagics. By doing so, especially paying attention to migration patterns, Operation Swimway helps establish Marine Protected Areas. These regions preserve the marine life within them, plus protect the ocean floor.
With the recent trip, YachtAid Global and Seahawk embarked on research benefitting Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Pacific. They cooperated with scientists from the shark-research organization Pelagio Kakunja and Autonomous University of Baja California in Mexico. In fact, they conducted activities in difficult-to-reach regions in the Gulf of California and the Revillagigedo Archipelago (below). Those volcanic islands are about 336 miles (540 kilometers) south of Baja California. Additionally, they contain North America’s largest Marine Protected Area.
During the expedition, the Seahawk crew and scientists installed underwater gear to track pelagic species’ movements. They recorded an abundance of underwater footage, too, plus tagged sharks and observed manta rays (top). Furthermore, the owners and crew met with doctoral students working on their thesis.
Notably, Seahawk’s crew undertook a similar expedition last year in the Galapagos, the opposite end of the shark’s migratory pattern. They further created a youth sailing and swimming program there. They further created a sailing and swimming program there. “It has been awesome to continue Seahawk’s mission to assist in the understanding of migratory species of sharks,” says Capt. Stephen Edwards.
Edwards continues, “As Seahawk continues our cruising travels, the yacht owners and crew look forward to exploring remote areas and communities around the world in the coming years, with the mission to leave a legacy of doing good along the way.”
YachtAid Global’s director, Zoran Selakovic, says that the non-profit is increasing its investment and commitment to the cause. “We welcome other partners and yachts to join us in this important work, creating the legacy of establishing new marine protected areas, expanding the existing ones, and protecting the oceans and marine life for the future generations,” he says.
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