Yachting and Science unite as Falmouth pioneers first United Kingdom partnership with The International SeaKeepers Society

Falmouth has become the first Harbour in the UK to partner with The International SeaKeepers Society (SeaKeepers) in a unique collaboration between yacht-owners, scientists and environmental researchers to focus on the health of the world’s oceans and climate.

Falmouth Harbour will be promoting SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY Yacht Programme and helping owners to volunteer themselves and their vessels in crucial support for Scientist-led Expeditions, Citizen Science and Educational Outreach programmes.

The DISCOVERY Yacht Fleet includes craft of all sorts and sizes depending on the type of expedition or research, whether it be mapping the sea-bed or water-monitoring - or providing an “at sea” research platform for university students or scientists.

“We can’t overstate the importance of our pioneering partnership with Falmouth Harbour which we hope will be the first of many collaborations around the coasts of the UK and Europe,” explains Tony Gilbert, Programme Director of SeaKeepers’ home base in Florida, USA. “The most expensive part of any marine research is sourcing a suitable vessel and the fuel – so as with our world-wide mission, our Falmouth colleagues will be helping SeaKeepers link willing owners with suitable marine projects to support sensible, achievable marine
protection and restoration.”

Falmouth Harbour’s Environment Manager Vicki Spooner says, “We know that so many owners of vessels in our care have a real social and environmental conscience. SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY Yacht Programme is a fantastic way to get involved via a safe and regulated platform to offer their services to marine research and to raising awareness about the issues
our oceans face.”

The not-for profit organization was founded in 1998 by a small group of yacht owners who, alarmed by the deterioration of the natural environment, sought to link scientific and yachting communities, combining resources to maximise the potential for marine research, conservation efforts and education across the world.

As the UK’s first and last major port strategically located on the Western Approaches, as well as the third-largest natural deep-water harbour in the world, Falmouth is uniquely positioned as a launchpad for ocean conservation and other initiatives offering shelter and port services for vessels of all sizes in unrivalled natural environments.

Falmouth Harbour CEO Miles Carden says, “Our partnership with SeaKeepers is a perfect fit for our environmental commitment to this beautiful Harbour and the seas beyond. We foresee bringing more explorer yachts to the Harbour and we’re keen to work with boat owners, harbour visitors, local marinas and other organisations on initiatives and issues which
affect us all.”

Vessels which sign up for the DISCOVERY Yacht Programme will have the opportunity to get involved in the Seabed 2030 Project, a Citizen Science initiative to map the world’s oceans by 2030; host a variety of Scientist-led Expeditions; engage in the Carbon Impact Program; and put into practice “A Green Guide to Boating”, a boater’s manual which provides best practices for vessel operations; as well as many other activities that support oceanographic research and conservation.

To find out more about these and other SeaKeepers projects and how to get involved in the DISCOVERY Yacht Programme visit https://www.seakeepers.org/programs/discovery-yacht-program/.

For more on Falmouth Harbour’s Citizen Science initiatives visit Citizen science - Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall



  • Photos are all free to use with a picture credit for Falmouth Harbour or The International SeaKeepers Society much appreciated.
  • The International SeaKeepers Society - is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization focusing on the health of the world’s oceans and climate. SeaKeepers works with the boating, and yachting community to take advantage of their unique potential to further marine research, educate the next generation, and raise awareness about the issues our oceans face. SeaKeepers acts as a global catalyst working with governments, scientists, academic institutions, and other marine organizations to further its mission and support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration. For more information, please visit www.seakeepers.org.
  • DISCOVERY Yacht Programme – comprised of Scientist-led Expeditions, Citizen Science, and Educational Outreach events. SeaKeepers collaborates with numerous
    organizations, academic institutions, marinas, and government agencies to accomplish the mission. SeaKeepers staff work closely with yacht owners and crew to coordinate research and outreach activities that reflect each yacht owner’s oceanrelated interests.
  • Falmouth Harbour Commissioners - a Trust Port with statutory duties and powers. Its purpose is to maintain an organization of quality and excellence to safely manage Falmouth Harbour in order to facilitate sustainable prosperity for the Port to the benefit of the users of the Harbour and the wider community. For more information,
    please visit www.falmouthharbour.co.uk
  • Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) are a statutory port authority with responsibility for the Inner Harbour at Falmouth (excluding Falmouth Docks), the
    Penryn River up as far as Coastlines Wharf, the southern part of the Carrick Roads and a large part of Falmouth Bay.
  • FHC is managed by a Board of Trustees set up as a trust port by statute to administer the harbour in the best interests of its stakeholders
  • FHC operates to the standards in the Modernising Trust Ports written by the Ports Division for the Department for Transport as part of the process of Modernising of
    Trust Ports and last updated in 2018
  • FHC provide pilotage services for the anchorages in Falmouth Bay and Carrick Roads, Falmouth Docks, Truro, Penryn and St Mawes as well as the Helford river, the Quarries
    on the East side of the Lizard Peninsula and the Falmouth, Gerrans and Veryan Bays
  • Depending on length, destination and cargo, a Falmouth Pilot (a member of the Falmouth Pilots LLP) is required to assist ships entering FHC’s waters
Contacts: -
SeaKeepers – Ivonne Gamboa – [email protected] / 7869246209
Tony Gilbert – [email protected] / 7869246209
Gill Rodrigues – [email protected] / 7458 368245
Falmouth Harbour – Vicki Spooner – [email protected] / 01326 213537
Louise Midgley Communications – [email protected] / 07831696093