PLASTIC POLLUTION IS CHOKING OUR OCEANS: Plastic waste kills marine life and poisons our wild fish stocks. Our techies are pioneering what we believe to be the quickest potential ocean Clean Up Solution (5-10 years) based on a proven filtration principle that many of you use every week to clean your carpets. Imagine then a giant vacuum cleaner that works in water and help us achieve the additional support to develop the Sea + Vax concept into a fully workable ocean tune up system. The planet needs healthier oceans to be able to feed a growing population into 2050, when informed estimates put human occupation at 9 billion souls.
HOW CAN WE FEED THE WORLD? - Feeding the world needs us to rethink our agricultural policies to consider ways of ensuring reliable food supplies without adding to climate change. Like battery chickens, fish farming is a useful addition to our food bank armory and is not such a contentious issue, but wild fish stocks should be the prime target if we are to keep the ocean economy alive. SeaVax is potentially a versatile tool for world leaders to help them to help themselves to reverse the decline in fish stocks - and is so doing - help their neighbors to feed themselves. This is a global problem that requires every nation to help every other nation.
Agriculture is among the greatest contributors to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains, and airplanes combined - largely from methane released by cattle and rice farms, nitrous oxide from fertilized fields and carbon dioxide from the cutting of rain forests to grow crops or raise livestock. For most of history, whenever we’ve needed to produce more food, we’ve simply cut down forests or plowed grasslands to make more farms. We’ve already cleared an area roughly the size of South America to grow crops. To raise livestock, we’ve taken over even more land, an area roughly the size of Africa.
BIG PROBLEMS CALL FOR BIG SOLUTIONS - With 7 billion+ of us on the planet at the moment (2017), roughly 10% percent of us, 700,000,000 million people, depend on the ocean for food. But, sustainable fish supplies may be a thing of the past if we do not act now to rid our seas of toxic plastic waste, halt over-fishing and tackle climate change. Because of this, the Blue Economy and Blue Growth are high on some political agendas. SeaVax is a versatile platform that is designed to help the world to feed itself. We hope to persuade you to help us in our mission to give the world cleaner oceans.
The problem is that as our population grows, so to does the land we occupy to live on. As the population grows we need more land to grow crops to feed ourselves and that adds to climate change which in turn poisons our oceans with acid rain and reduces the available land for agriculture. It's hardly surprising then that fish stocks are taking a nose dive, when we'll need more ocean produce to offset a reducing land area - we cannot keep cutting down rain forests - we need them to produce oxygen and soak up carbon dioxide.
WHAT IS OUR SOLUTION? The demonstration vessel seen below is our 'Proof of Concept' boat that shows we can harvest plastic and other waste from the 5 garbage Gyres in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and (via third parties) recycle that waste into clean diesel fuel for shipping and new plastic products. SeaVax does not contribute to climate change, being solar powered.
Anything we can build small, we can scale up if we have more capacity. We have the in-house skills needed to get these machines made. Where we lack expertise, we work with leading academics to plug those gaps.
MONEY TALKS: We need top up funding for 2017 to go from Phase II to Phase III of our project and produce the means to construct a full size 44m (140ft) prototype ship. We can do this in stages as we develop our low cost build and launch system.
At the moment we are scouting for a launch site. Having built a test tank and nearing completion of our robot development lab in 2016, we need to design and record experiments, and run a series of tests on SeaVax and the launch and recovery sequence we have designed using our 1/20th scale models of the SeaVax and AmphiMax vehicles, details of which you can see on our active timetable pages. Please help us develop our international rescue plan if you can, or to tailor a local plan for your ocean or sea.
THE FUTURE OF OCEAN CLEANING - SeaVax shreds fishing nets to help stop marine mammals suffering. A modification of the SeaVax could cleanse river water without adding to climate change. This clean-tech could improve social conditions in (for example) India manyfold, by targeting hotspots and the mouth of the great river Ganges, before the water exits into the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. Building a vessel this size economically represents a challenge that we think we have found a solution to. As a small entity, we cannot afford to place an order with a shipyard that would constitute an unacceptable commercial risk to us. For this reason we are starting small as constructors. That does not mean SeaVax will not be built, it just means that while funding is limited (and it always will be for a not-for-profit) we are looking for ways to stretch the money that we have and provide value to all our contributors large and small.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Typically, a boat the size of SeaVax would need to be built in a shipyard at considerable cost. With this in mind we've had to develop a modular system to eliminate the overheads that come with conventional ship building. Car makers do not produce all the parts for their cars, they are bought in from specialist parts suppliers. We've adopted a similar approach to outsource some components. All we need then to assemble SeaVax is the virtual shipyard we call AmphiMax. AmphiMax is a Self Propelled Production Jig (SPPJ) that can double as a launch vehicle and portable dock. Having conceived the SPPJ we conducted a feasibility (financial) study and found that we'd recover the cost of this rig several times over in the savings made on assembling just one modular SeaVax design. As more SeaVax are assembled and launched, the savings multiply.
BACK UP - In working this plan through we've catered for periodic haul outs and other servicing such as hull cleaning and antifouling treatment. Our aim is to assemble the SeaVax for as little as possible in large numbers, so making ocean plastic cleanup operations more cost effective. Indeed, that is the key to cleaning our oceans - the economics of the solution. We also want third parties in developing regions to benefit from cleaner fishing grounds where they have the most polluted seas. The route to this happy situation, is to allow SeaVax to be built locally with quality control assurance and technical backup.
FRIDAY 29th JULY 2016 - This was a great day for the SeaVax team. Chris Close (project director), watches plastic and water being sucked into the SeaVax development model. This was an experiment in controlled conditions to prove that hydrocyclones are the way to go for small plastic particles. Without funding from Avaaz we would not have our test tank to undertake such experiments. Copyright © July 29 2016, all rights reserved. You will need the permission of Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to reproduce many of the picture on this website except for educational use in schools, colleges, universities, or for private study or research.
HOW THE TECHNOLOGY WORKS - MOST POPULAR QUESTIONS & ANSWERS :
1. SEAVAX AVOIDS FISH & PLANKTON - It can see ahead underwater, adjust parameters selectively to target microplastics in a plastic soup, or shut down if necessary to protect marine life, until it is safe to resume cleanup operations.
5. FACTORY SHIPS - Harvested waste might be treated at sea on dedicated vessels, then sent to factories for new products.
6. OIL RECOVERY - SeaVax ocean cleaning dustcarts could be diverted to major oil spills for emergency recovery.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - [LEFT] In these pictures we can see the hydrocyclonic water filters in action. We scattered plastic fragments onto the surface of our test tank and allowed the SeaVax to trawl slowly for a couple of minutes. You can see the plastic spinning in the twin chambers as water passes through. [RIGHT] Out of the water, we can see the solid plastic waste we have collected at the bottom of the chambers. Copyright © July 29 2016, all rights reserved. You will need permission from Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to reproduce these photographs.
FROM THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF AVAAZ.ORG CROWD FUNDING IN JUNE 2016 WE RECEIVED A GRANT TO ACCELERATE SEAVAX DEVELOPMENT. The funds were accepted to fund core project areas to include:
1. Testing tanks, robotic equipment and experiments advancing the SeaVax project.
2. Efforts to raise additional required funds to build a SeaVax prototype.
3. Physical building of a SeaVax hull.
FROM JUNE 2016 WE ACHIEVED THE FOLLOWING:
FROM NOVEMBER 2017 WE ACHIEVED THE FOLLOWING:
THAT IS A LOT OF WORK AND A BIG ACHIEVEMENT IN A RELATIVELY SHORT TIME. WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT CROWD FUNDING SUPPORT. OUR TEAM RELISH THE CHALLENGE AND ARE NOW COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH THE CLEANER OCEANS FOUNDATION TO RAISE TOP-UP FUNDING TO BE ABLE TO KEEP GOING WITH OUR WORK IN 2017.
WE REALLY MUST EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO ALL OF YOU WHO CONTRIBUTED VIA THE MARCH 2016 CAMPAIGN AND TO THE ORGANIZERS AT AVAAZ WHO GAVE US THIS WONDERFUL BOOST, SO ALLOWING US TO PROGRESS FROM A CONCEPT TO A READY TO BUILD SITUATION INTO 2018.
AT TIME OF WRITING WE ARE NOT FUNDED BY THE UK OR ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT, THOUGH WOULD WELCOME SUPPORT. WE MAY EXPAND OUR SEARCH FOR BACKING TO INCLUDE RESPONSIBLE CORPORATIONS WHO MIGHT LIKE TO JOIN WITH US IN THIS IMPORTANT WORK AS ASSOCIATES OR PROJECT PARTNERS. PLEASE HELP US IF YOU CAN BY CONTACTING US TO SEE IF WE CAN WORK TOGETHER.
YOU CAN'T JUST FLUSH THE OCEANS - PLASTIC WASTE IS KILLING FISH AND DROWNING MARINE MAMMALS
Our research offers a potential blue growth solution where none exists at the moment. The ocean is the 7th largest economy valued @ $24 trillion, yielding $2.5 trillion annually, but it's going downhill fast according to a WWF report published in April of 2015 - marine life has declined by 39% since 1970 - that is a 0.85% fall per year with no sign of slowing. Another report in January 2016 reveals that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. Using a multi-pronged attack, the trend could be reversed if we act now. See our show stand at Innovate 2015 above and follow us through 2016 into 2017 as we steer a course to production. Can you afford not to help us get a SeaVax demonstrator in the water? We will be attending European Maritime Day at Poole in May and the Marine & Coastal expo in London in October 2017, along with other venues. Attending such events is subject to funding.
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