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Rotterdam launches Sea Ranger initiative

05 Sep 2016 | Peter de Haan

The Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, and CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, Allard Castelein, today launched the Sea Ranger Service as the world’s first maritime ranger service. Starting next summer it will train unemployed youth as Sea Rangers. Navy veterans will train the Sea Rangers to assist nations in the management of their Marine Protected Areas.

The Sea Ranger Service is an initiative to offer much needed capacity to manage the world’s growing number of Marine Protected Areas, while tackling youth unemployment and reintegrating navy veterans simultaneously. What makes the Sea Ranger Service unique is its multi-disciplinary approach and the fact that it carries out monitoring and regeneration of the marine environment as a social enterprise, under contracts for governments and made possible thanks to social impact investments.

“ If only I was younger, I would give it my all to become a Sea Ranger. Seems like a dream job. ” - Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam

Wietse van der Werf, founder of the Sea Ranger initiative: “Protection of the world’s oceans is necessary to ensure food security for developing nations and conservation of precious marine ecosystems. Overfishing, illegal fishing, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss. These are all global problems requiring ambitious yet concrete solutions.”

The Sea Ranger Service’s first expedition vessel was presented to the Mayor during the event. Construction of vessel will be finalised over the coming year. Interested investors are encouraged to reach out to the organisation.

With the launch of the Sea Ranger Service, the city of Rotterdam continues to be at the forefront of social innovation. The Port of Rotterdam has embraced the new initiative with over 30 maritime, construction and media companies making the work of the Sea Ranger Service possible through in-kind contributions of expertise, networks and materials.

“ With the Sea Rangers we offer youth and veterans new opportunities while working towards healthy seas. It’s a win-win-win.” - Wietse van der Werf, initiator