He often, during his transoceanic races in multihull, struck unidentified floating objects. Just In 2015, when the boat with which he participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre collided with a container, forcing him to abandon the race. Confronted brutally with ocean pollution during this incident but also during his recent World Tour in sport catamaran, Yvan BOURGNON decided to ACT. With the creation of his association “THE SEA CLEANERS” dedicated to the fight against ocean pollution, he embarked on the construction of a revolutionary ship “LE MANTA”, collector of plastic waste. After a Crowdfunding campaign in France and Switzerland, he launched the preliminary and detailed studies of the ship in preparation for construction in 2020-2021.

The Sea Cleaners

A revolutionary ship to clean the oceans

The Manta

MANTA owes its name to the Manta Ray for its ability to filter water. This ship project aims to collect ocean plastics closer to the source of the spill, near the coast of the countries that produce the most marine plastic waste or in natural concentration areas (currents).

Indeed, only a ship offers the mobility necessary for rapid movements to plastic banks still concentrated by winds and currents, before they begin their oceanic drifts towards the “plastic continents”. This mobility also makes it possible to intervene on the high seas, where the ocean depth makes it impossible to anchor to the bottom of the sea and where an accidentally immersed container may have released its cargo of plastic objects. In terms of propulsion, the use of Kite-Wing (kite) combined with a rigging system supporting classic sails, or simply a fully electric solar wind and tidal propulsion are under study. The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint to a minimum.

A unique collection system

The waste collection system is the focus of attention. Everything remains to be invented. The consulting firms are mobilized to develop an innovative and effective solution for collecting waste at sea. The width of the system will be decisive, but not only. The effectiveness of the collector will also depend on its ability to quickly bring the waste back on board. The device will have very little draft to allow the aquatic fauna to escape. An electronic sound emission device will also allow the marine wildlife to move away from the ship, in order to avoid accidental fishing. A pre-sorting system on board will count this device. 

Collected data will be published in Open DATA

The action of The Sean Cleaners is located downstream of pollution. Prevention should be a much better way to combat this pollution, to prevent any plastic waste from entering the ocean, should be the only solution to implement. Unfortunately all forecasts, even the most optimistic do not let us predict a real improvement for decades. It is therefore necessary to combine upstream and downstream actions. This being the case, the collection of waste by the Manta will be the object of all the attention in terms of geolocation, quantification and qualification of the waste. The data will be formatted in Open Data and provided to the entire international community.

Million tons of waste dumped into our oceans every year

Countries generate 50% of oceanic plastic pollution

years for a plastic bottle to degrade in the sea

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François Lambert

Jean Michel Cousteau

Fabienne Amiach

Laurent Bignolas

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