We will have a preliminary answer on May 15th if the weather is good! On that day, the King Fisher will leave the harbour of Barcelona and go for a half day tour to measure the concentration of microplastics in the sea within 25 miles distance from the coast..
The exceptional thing about this race is that the sensors installed on the boat will continuously transmit information via wireless connection to the servers of the project. The entire data collection is automatically done and the skipper does not need to intervene at any point the process.
This experiment will be repeated with a scientific research vessel a few months later in the Baltic Sea. Last, if the results are significant and if the boat gets selected, the experiment will again be conducted during the 2016 edition of the Vendée Globe in November. This means that the King Fisher will sail around the world with the sensors installed and track microplastics concentration for the length of its journey.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 /2007-2013) under grant agreement no 614155. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which maybe made of the information contained therein.