The ship will be used to carry out research into plastic pollution, seaweed cultivation and nature restoration. Since October 2018, young Sea Rangers have been sailing daily to perform research and management tasks at sea. They have carried out research for the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) into plastic pollution in the North Sea and they perform daily weather observations for the Dutch meteorological institute KNMI. The work has so far been done with the sailing ship Tooluka. With the new ship, named Fantastiko, the work of the Sea Rangers continues in the Dutch North Sea area.
According to the founder of the Sea Ranger Service, Wietse van der Werf, the use of work vessels is a win-win situation. “These special sailing work vessels emit minimal emissions and are cheaper than traditional motor vessels, but are certified to carry out our offshore tasks commercially.”
Tthe Sea Ranger approach has started gaining the interest of foreign governments and companies. Van der Werf: “In addition to the fact that we offer cost-effective deployment at sea for numerous tasks, we also combat high youth unemployment in port cities with our approach to creating the Sea Ranger jobs. There is a lot of support to extend the model that we have developed in the Netherlands to neighbouring countries.”
The owner of the Fantastiko, Huub Veeneman, has made the ship available to the Sea Rangers based on the belief that it will really make a difference: “The approach of the Sea Rangers is that they can make a concrete difference towards a healthier sea. It has inspired me and the Fantastiko is the perfect ship with which the Sea Rangers can now get started.”
Immediately after the event, which will be held in the Port of Rotterdam, the Fantastiko will sail to Den Helder, where the Sea Rangers will start some of its offshore work the week after.