Using the Barba sailboat as platform for research institutions, photographers and storytellers of Arctic Whale will carry out an Arctic roundtrip from May to July 2019. Whales and other sea mammals will be the messengers from the ocean.

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Research projects about marine plastic pollution and how this affects the ocean and marine mammals are an important part of the project. The Arctic Whale project aspires to investigate if the marine plastic problem is now part of the biological lifecycle of marine mammals that live in remote and pristine Arctic regions.

Under this collaboration, WWF will contribute with their expertise on plastic pollution and the arctic area. As an exchange, the Arctic Whale project will share its visual, marine and research data with WWF.

The most important thing we do in terms of our plastic pollution problem, is stopping new plastic from going into the oceans. To succeed, we need stricter regulations nationally and internationally. That is why we need to show people how severe the plastic problems have become

states Fredrik Myhre, WWF.

The Arctic Whale team will use innovative research methods that are easy to visualise and document. Among others, the team will use drones to capture whale breath samples and analyse these for various environmental parameters. It will also take tissue samples from blue whales to check if they have nanoplastics.

The Arctic Whale team will also use more traditional research methods, like micro-plastic trawling and mapping of macro pollutants, while it will perform hydrophone recordings to better understand the biology of the species.

The research will be conducted in cooperation with the University of Iceland and the University of Oslo.