Hurtigruten also has a long history of participating in programs to monitor and analyse the waters and areas we operate in. Together with our guests and scientific partners, we are involved in important research, from polar bear registration on Svalbard and logging seawater temperature along the Norwegian coast, to oil spill surveillance and Antarctic research.
Since 1932, Hurtigruten has been measuring sea temperature, salinity levels and algae growth as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research. 80 years ago, we threw a bucket overboard to collect samples to bring to their headquarters. Now, we collect precise measurements using the sophisticated sensor system Ferrybox. The data collected by Ferrybox is transferred via satellite to NIVA and used by researchers to monitorboth natural variability in the ocean and human impacts on the oceans, including climate change.
Ocean Visuals, a system currently installed onboard MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol, uses advanced laser equipment, to continuously monitor the ocean for oil spillages. MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol have made 5 million measurements so far, identifying more than 40 incidents of oil spillages and two leaks from installations on shore. The Norwegian Coastal Administration is notified immediately of such instances. All data collected from Ocean Visuals is made open source for anyone to use for review and research.
We use citizen science to enhance the areas we sail in. For example, at Svalbard we take part in the Norwegian Polar Institute project for registration of marine mammals in the Arctic (Marine Mammal Sightings Data Base). The data improves our overall understanding of habitat use and seasonal movement patterns.