Renowned Yachtsman Mike Golding OBE to embark on Global Voyage and Contribute to Critical Ocean Microplastics Study

Caption: Mike Golding OBE and Andrea Golding holding the Microplastic Sampling Net at the National Oceanographic centre in Southampton with SeaKeepers’ Director of International Relations, Gill Rodrigues and NOC scientists/researchers.

Whangarei, New Zealand - Renowned English Yachtsman and Pro Sailor Mike Golding OBE, and his co-skipper, Andrea Golding, will be the inaugural participants in The International SeaKeepers Society (SeaKeepers) and the National Oceanography Centre’s (NOC) Microplastic Sampling Project. They will set sail from Whangarei, New Zealand on the 1st of May on their Outremer 51 Catamaran ‘Traverse’ travelling through the Pacific islands. Their journey will contribute to scientific advancement, as they actively engage in a myriad of at-sea activities en route, showcasing their commitment to marine research as part of SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY Yacht Programme.

The Golding’s will journey for over six days to Tonga, where, after a four-day stay, they will undertake a three-day crossing to Fiji. During this passage and their subsequent visit to Fiji, the Golding’s will participate in a Scientist-Led Expedition with SeaKeepers in collaboration with Manta Watch NZ and the South Pacific Whale Consortium.

This initiative arises from recent findings indicating tagged manta rays migrating towards Tonga and Fiji, presenting an opportunity for the manta watch team to advance this limited research on oceanic manta rays. This is especially significant to the scientific community as these manta rays are newly studied, and little is presently known of their population and migration patterns.

After their exhilarating journey, the Golding’s will set their sights on Vanuatu, to be welcomed by the British High Commissioner, H.E. Nicolette Brent, and Director of SeaKeepers South Pacific, Melissa White. Following this, the Golding’s plan to continue their voyage, heading to Cape Town, South Africa, and then onwards to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean from January to June 2025.

Throughout this voyage, the Golding’s will participate in collecting microplastic samples for the NOC Microplastic Sampling Project, as part of SeaKeepers’ Neuston Net Research Collective. The goal of this project is to tackle pivotal questions surrounding microplastics in the ocean, addressing their fate, distribution, and ecological impacts.

Caption: Andrea Golding, Mike Golding, Gill Rodrigues, and the team from NOC strategising about the upcoming expedition.

Their contribution will provide invaluable access to regions, samples, and data that would otherwise remain inaccessible.

About NOC:

As the UK leader in ocean research, technological innovation, and education, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has pledged to discover and share the solutions needed to protect our oceans, our planet, and our futures. NOC’s scientists work across fields and around the globe, uncovering links between the ocean, climate change and biodiversity loss, helping to create an ocean that is clean, safe and sustainable.

Beyond the international scientific community, the NOC acts as the voice of UK ocean science, sharing the significance of research findings with the UN, governments, global industry and developing nations to empower their decision-making and actions. The NOC also has uniquely close and continuous interaction with the UK government, including DEFRA, the Environment Agency, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Ocean.

The International SeaKeepers Society: https://noc.ac.uk/

About Mike Golding OBE

Mike Golding OBE is one of the world’s most successful and best-known offshore sailors, the first person to race around world in both east and west-about directions. Responsible for numerous innovative, enduring and successful sailing sponsorships. More than being a pro sailor he is an avid ocean advocate, being a founding patron of RYA and British Maritime Green Blue initiative and Chairman of the World Sailing Sustainability Commission 2030.

About The International SeaKeepers Society

The International SeaKeepers Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that facilitates oceanographic research, conservation, and education through direct involvement with the yachting community. Providing educational resources and hands-on marine science experiences to students is the primary focus for ensuring the wellbeing of our planet. SeaKeepers enables the yachting community to take full advantage of their unique potential to advance marine sciences and raise awareness about global ocean issues.

Founded in Monaco in 1998, The International SeaKeepers Society has been supporting ocean conservation through direct involvement with the yachting community for twenty-five years. What started as a data collection program aboard select luxury yachts, has evolved to engage thousands of participants annually with at-sea and coastal programming. Today SeaKeepers’ mission is focused on the DISCOVERY Yacht Program which is comprised of Scientist-Led Expeditions, Citizen Science, Educational Outreach, and Community Engagement.

SeaKeepers is a catalyst working with governments, scientists, institutions, and other marine organizations to further its mission and support sensible, achievable marine protection and restoration. Activities take place globally through the efforts of headquarters based in the United States with offices located on the east and west coast, and international representation in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the South Pacific.

The International SeaKeepers Society: www.seakeepers.org