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July 25, 2017

Oceana Planeteers

BY: Craig Lawson


Divers preparing to document marine life in the North Sea
Maniobra de buceo


Back in the 90s, there was a TV show I used to love as a kid. Being here in the North Sea, on this marine conservation expedition, has brought back such vivid childhood memories of watching it. Each new adventure in the cartoon series Captain Planet encouraged us to understand and look after planet Earth and those messages are just as relevant now as they were back then.

I always wanted “water” as a special Planeteer power with Capitan Planet. Maybe it was the oceans and marine life that appeared in episodes. The Planeteers would help dolphins, whales and birds that got caught up in oil slicks, or they’d tackle marine litter choking our oceans, or rising sea temperatures affecting us and the planet.

Right now, as I write this diary entry on the Neptune in the North Sea, I think I’d still choose Water over Heart, Wind, Earth and Fire. Wheeler’s “Fire” power would not exactly be the best one for a ship in the middle of the sea.

We, Oceana Planeteers, on board this marine conservation expedition in the North Sea, are all on the same mission: to research and document marine life in 5 different nations’ waters (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK) to protect this vast sea.

To do that, we need be at sea, to see first-hand what, where and why certain areas need protecting. In the science world, they call them Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). An MPA might be a space in the sea shielded from human activity because it is a nursery area where fish grow or where there is a high level of rich biodiversity.

Today, Oceana Planeteers have been working underwater, diving to record and capture marine life off the coast of Denmark. Our scientists onboard have taken 2 grab samples – sediment from the seabed – to analyse the species inhabiting this area. We also deployed Oceana’s underwater robot (ROV) to allow our scientists (and support crew!) to see, in real time, what sea life lies in the depths of the North Sea.

Go ahead and take a look at what we’ve seen so far on Oceana Europe’s photo sharing account on Flickr or follow and support us on social media @oceanaeurope.

To protect the oceans, remember what Captain Planet said, “The Power Is Yours”! 🙂