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‘Our oceans are massively neglected’: The organisation paying young people to save the seas

The organisation says its mission is to restore one million hectares of ocean biodiversity by 2040.
The organisation says its mission is to restore one million hectares of ocean biodiversity by 2040. Copyright LUSA
Copyright LUSA
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on Updated
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The organisation says its mission is to restore one million hectares of ocean biodiversity by 2040.

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Around 70 per cent of people aged 16-25 are extremely worried or very worried about the climate, according to a 2022 study published in The Lancet.

The Netherlands-based Sea Ranger Service is hoping to give young people concerned about the planet a chance to get involved in climate protection with a new project.

The social enterprise is inviting people in the UK to join a paid training programme where they will learn to monitor, research and protect nature in the world’s oceans.

The organisation says its mission is to restore one million hectares of ocean biodiversity by 2040.

‘Our oceans are massively neglected’

“The sea is the world's greatest ally against climate change, and human survival depends on healthy oceans, but unfortunately, our oceans are massively neglected,” the Sea Ranger Service says.

“While billion-dollar voyages probe deeper into space, 95 per cent of our oceans remain unexplored and largely unknown.”

The result of this negligence is expanding ‘dead zones’ from chemical pollution, mass displacement of marine species and the extinction of entire ecosystems.

A training programme to restore ocean biodiversity

The Sea Ranger Service launched in 2016 to support governments with the management and restoration of oceans while offering young people, particularly those in coastal regions, a chance of employment.

Researchers found that young people growing up in rural and coastal regions are half as likely to go to university and twice as likely to give up pursuing aspirational careers as those in city and suburban areas.

Since its launch, the organisation has trained over 120 young people to carry out biodiversity restoration at scale in the Netherlands and France.

The programme is now launching in the UK, and its mission is to restore one million hectares of ocean biodiversity by 2040 whilst training 20,000 young people towards a maritime career.

Young people aged 18-29 will be trained to monitor, research and protect nature in the world’s oceans.

But first, they must take part in an intense Bootcamp, which is kicking off on 1 March, where participants will be tested on their motivation, teamwork skills and learning abilities.

Those selected will then be employed as full-time Sea Rangers and join sailing expeditions from Port Talbot in south Wales.

How do Sea Rangers protect the oceans?

The work of Sea Rangers includes climate research, restoring seagrass, monitoring protected sea areas and using drones and underwater robots to collect data on the ocean environment.

All of these are essential for protecting the oceans, which are vital for human existence as they generate the majority of the oxygen we breathe, help regulate climate, and are home to much of the earth’s biodiversity.

Candidates are required to be aged 18-29 but do not need any specific training or previous sailing experience before applying. Registration for the Bootcamp opened on 10 January 2024.

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