Sargasso Sea Poster
 

The Seafarer Environmental Awareness (SEA) Project

GlobalMET, the Nautical Institute and WWF have initiated the SEA Project to produce environmental awareness raising posters to alert seafarers to environmental matters when their vessel is transiting a particularly sensitive ocean area. The initial poster features the Sargasso Sea, which is highlighted in blue on the chart for plotting the ship's position, kindly approved for use by the Hydrographic Offices in the UK and the US. The Sargasso Sea Alliance provided input and the design and printing was done by GlobalMET Member Maritime Training Services in Seattle, USA. MTS will also handle orders and payments.

The Sargasso Sea supports many unique and endangered species and some are shown on the poster. These plants and animals are suffering from illegal fishing, pollution and garbage, especially plastics thrown overboard. Some of the species living in the Sargasso Sea include:

Humpback Whale

These 16 meter giants migrate up to 25,000 km every year to find a mate in the warm waters of the Sargasso Sea. In pursuit of the perfect lover, charismatic males "sing", producing a sound that travels hundreds of miles through the ocean to attract females.

Sargassum Weed

Like a floating hotel, this plant supports a mini-ecosystem of animals found only amongst its golden-green leaves. Guests such as pipefish, shrimp, and small crabs spend their entire lives within the floating mats of the Sargassum and have evolved their body shape and color to resemble their host.

Flying Fish

Found throughout the surface layers of warm oceans, flying fish use enlarged fins to glide above the water to escape predators. Some species lay eggs and intentionally tangle them within the Sargassum weed, thereby keeping them protected within the floating mats.

Sargassum Anglerfish

Living only within the Sargassum weed, this "angler" fish is camouflaged and has adapted fins that are used to hold onto the weed and creep around the mats. One fin is modified as a fishing lure and used to attract prey within reach of its large mouth.

Sea Turtle

Sea turtles must surface to breathe, but caught in a fisherman's net they are unable to surface and can drown. A few hardy species live more than 100 years, spending decades grazing on sea grass and maintaining a healthy ecosystem for aquatic sea life.

Future posters are likely to feature the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Coral Triangle and other sensitive sea areas.

All seafarers should be aware of the area the ship is transiting and strive to avoid disturbance of whales and other marine life by acting responsibly - nothing over the side, especially oil and plastics.

Purchasing this poster will assist preservation of the Sargasso Sea. Any surplus from the sale of the poster (100%) will be used for the design and production of future environmental awareness posters featuring different sensitive areas of the ocean. Use of the posters will also enhance awareness in maritime academies and shipping industry offices.

The price of the 36" x 30" poster is USD 10, plus postage and packing. Orders may be placed with GlobalMET by clicking as indicated below or from Maritime Training Services by going to www.maritimetraining.com/Product/Sargasso-Sea-Poster.