State Of Our Seas | Circumnavigating Great Britain
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THE EXPEDITION

IN 2019 NESS KNIGHT WILL EMBARK ON A THREE-MONTH EXPEDITION TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE GREAT BRITAIN IN HER SAILING VESSEL RIGGED WITH MARINE CONSERVATION TECHNOLOGY, BRINGING TOGETHER EXPLORATION, HUMAN ENDEAVOUR AND CONSERVATION.

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CIRCUMNAVIGATION

In spring 2020 the expedition’s circumnavigation stage will set sail from London, beneath Tower Bridge, and take the research and film team on a full circle of Great Britain exploring 3000 miles of UK and Irish coast and deep sea. The voyage will be split into four legs; the English Channel, the Irish Sea, the Atlantic Ocean (Scotland) and the North Sea. View the expedition route here

 

During the expedition Ness and her team will stop to explore upriver of key waterways including the three longest rivers in the UK – the Thames, the Severn and the Trent – and sail to the cities of London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Inverness, Edinburgh, Hull and Southampton.

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RESEARCH

SV Baleen is a 32-foot vessel that will be fully rigged up with conservation technology and an on-board laboratory for basic sample investigation on the go. Samples and data will also be sent to a UK University marine biology research team who will analyse and interpret the findings.

 

The expedition will also team up with organisations specialising in an array of vital areas such as high-resolution images from space, to cutting edge conservation technology, to marine biologists living on-board SV Baleen leading dive missions to gather information on each investigation we film.

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EDUCATION

The expedition has three key missions, one of which is to leverage the opportunity to lead educational programmes on ocean conservation in conjunction with the expedition research findings and goals. Ness will be collaborating with local and national organisations to create powerful digital educational assets, setup local clean-up events and run a series of talks to youth and the general public. Press and media will be involved locally, nationally and internationally. A website will be live with real-time tracking of the voyage and short videos all focussed on bringing together exploration, research, education and investigative journalism to bring to light the fragile and endangered state of our seas.  

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DOCUMENTARY

The expedition will be captured in a 2-4 part documentary series. Ness will interview characters on every side of the marine issues under investigation to ensure ground truth is captured and an unbiased, honest report of the stories is brought to light. Ness will interview individuals on land, in-situ on boats and in business grounds and on her own sailing vessel as research and investigations are conducted. Interviews will be held with government officials, oceanographers, corporations, fishermen and salmon farmers, economists, the public, marine biologists, world renowned divers, leading conservationists, investors, entrepreneurs and lab researchers.

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INVESTIGATING KEY STORIES

The seas surrounding Britain and Ireland are a fragile yet extraordinary underwater world teeming with a diverse array of plant and marine life but that includes over thirty critically endangered, threatened and vulnerable species. The angel shark has already been declared Extinct in the North Sea and is listed as Critically Endangered globally. How many more losses are we facing, in reality, over the coming decades from our UK seas? Our research aims to find out.

 

The common thread through all the investigations and issues facing our oceans is us – human/marine life conflict as we plunder this vast and extraordinary, yet vulnerable, underwater resource. From sheltered sea lochs to wild open waters, from seaweed beds to deepwater coral, these are ecosystems on the brink of breaking. Can we find the solutions to sustainable, and viable, co-existence with our seas and waterways? This hard-hitting documentary and in-depth research will investigate the answers to the most complex and controversial marine protection questions.

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EXPEDITION OBJECTIVES

THE ISSUES

The first step towards fixing our oceans is understanding the issues at hand. Ness and her team will be tackling some of the greatest problems facing our UK seas from marine conservation zone policy management, to microfibres, to toxicity levels of agrochemicals and their effects on our seas, to the shocking news of the shooting of seals around salmon farms. The team also expects to stumble across a host of new and unknown issues as Ness investigates the problems faced by local fishermen and communities.

THE TEAMS

The teams and organisations involved in the expedition are critical to its success. Ness is teaming up with a top UK university’s marine biology research lab to capture data and samples for investigation. Ness will also collaborate with numerous national and local organisations and conservation experts to plan live events, filming locations and uncover key stories. Ness’ media and communications team will create educational assets for the public and schools, as well as ensure extensive press and media coverage around the research findings and investigations.

THE SOLUTIONS

Citizen science, marine biology research teams, industry and government are all important cogs in turning the tide on the issues our seas and oceans are up against. Ness will seek solutions for our marine challenges from engineers and scientists, taking these to industry and government and putting pressure on both to invest in a more sustainable and viable future, whether that is via new policy, new consumer products or new ideas for dealing with waste. Every one of us plays a part in the future health of our oceans. Every decision and action will contribute.