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Owners of Superyachts Band Together to Monitor Earth’s Oceans

SeaKeepers - A Scientific Journey Protecting Our Oceans

The 70th annual Miami International Boat Show is set to take place this week. Many of the floating palaces set to line South Florida’s docks will offer plenty of luxury features, from hot tubs to helipads.

But a select few of the luxury yacht charter vessels in town for the show will boast an innovative option that allows owners do a little something good for the planet as their yachts cruise the playgrounds of the rich famous.

SeaKeepers, a group of yacht owners, has taken aboard an innovative new option: a specially-designed sensing system for helping to measure changes in the sea.

The boats owned by members of the International SeaKeepers Society are equipped with specially-designed sensing systems that automatically collect ocean and weather readings and stream them to scientists around the world.

One of the SeaKeeper vessels, the $58 million motor yacht BIG FISH, owned by Hong Kong-based millionaire Richard Beattie, is in the midst of a polar circumnavigation, the first attempted by a private vessel.

Motor yacht BIG FISH, a SeaKeeper vessel joining the research to protect the Earth's oceans

Owners of some of the world’s largest yachts are members, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, publisher Steve Forbes, and Miami Heat and Carnival Cruise Lines owner, Micky Arison.

The nonprofit organization was born from a discussion about climate change among a group of yacht owners gathered off Monaco in 1998. Their idea was to create a reliable, accurate system that could allow yachts to do work previously left to research vessels.

The monitoring system, called the SeaKeeper 1000, was developed with millions of dollars donated by the group’s founding members and initial help from scientists and engineers at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The system measures temperature, salinity, oxygen and acid in the ocean and gathers a host of weather readings.

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