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OceanX in the Red Sea

Afrah Alothman, a Saudi-born scientist contributing to the Red Sea Decade expedition, shares her story of research and exploration in the Red Sea…

Despite its critical importance as the planet’s largest carbon sink, the oceans are the least invested in the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goal, making OceanX's mission to “explore the ocean and bring it back to the world” and increase ocean understanding more important than ever.

OceanX’s mission is to help scientists explore the ocean. It brings together top media, science and philanthropy partners and uses advanced technology, storytelling and immersive experiences to teach, inspire and connect people worldwide with the ocean.

Continuing its groundbreaking research in the Red Sea over the last three years, Afrah Alothman, a Saudi-born scientist contributing to the Red Sea Decade expedition, becomes one of the first Arab woman scientists to explore the deep sea.

“This has always been my dream and I worked very hard to achieve it, but that was not easy,” says Afrah Alothman, who shares her inspirational journey in the below video from OceanX.

Her work examines some of the smallest creatures that live in the sea – plankton. On board the submersibles of OceanXplorer, Afrah hopes that her contribution to the expedition will ensure a healthier Red Sea for the generations that will follow her.

“Since we were kids, we heard about the food web in the ocean. Many of you may think about whales, fish and all the larger mammals and organisms, but actually, for these big creatures to grow, they need a source of food, and the source of food for them in the oceans always starts with these tiny organisms. It is these tiny organisms that actually take the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give us oxygen as well,” says Afrah Alothman.

“You have to be brave, and I actually learned how to be brave from my work. I'm learning from these organisms. They adapt, they fight for their life and they see there are lots of changes happening to them. There are lots of changes happening to us. It's very important now to see what’s happening so we can solve things for the future.”

OceanX’s first-of-its-kind surveys in the Red Sea were possible thanks to partnerships with NEOM, Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans, KAUST and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Beginning in early 2024, OceanX will embark on a series of major global research missions. The non-profit will work with local scientists to explore and study the Seychelles before moving into Southeast Asia, where OceanX will conduct missions in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and more. OceanX will be based in the region for several years, with the goal of contributing to the understanding of one of the world’s most biologically diverse regions and developing partnerships that support ocean education.

OCEANXPLORER
FREIRE SHIPYARD 2010 2010 Delivered
85.30m 18.00m 7.00m 4398
Gresham Yacht Design
Gresham Yacht Design

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