The new ship is expected to be operational from early 2024. As with the current Sea Ranger Service ship, the purpose of the vessel is to assist Dutch and British governments with conservation activities in the North Sea and UK waters. Alongside this, the ship will be instrumental in climate change mitigation work such as our upcoming seagrass restoration programme.
The ability to deploy the new ship is a big step for the Sea Ranger Service, as we now have some tangible resources to help expand our ocean conservation work and training of young people, to other parts of Europe.
Currently at a shipyard near the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the 24 metre sailing work vessel uses wind as its primary method of propulsion. This makes it a very low emission vessel, and in turn a low-cost alternative to deliver on offshore research and biodiversity restoration services.
Financing for the ship has been provided by Triodos Sustainable Finance Foundation; a foundation managed by Triodos Regenerative Money Centre (TRMC), NESEC Ship Finance and PDENH (sustainable impact fund from the Dutch province of North Holland). These investors make for unusual financiers as they are typically not involved in ship financing or social impact investing.
What makes the financing setup unique is that the conservation business model of the Sea Ranger Service has now enabled investment funds and maritime sector financing to make an impact towards achieving better ocean health, where this may have primarily been financed through government subsidies or philanthropic funds in the past.