okeanos - Foundation for the sea

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea

The Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea puts the main emphasis of its work on the development, funding and implementation of projects in the South Pacific. While in the past few years we focused our work on those topics that haven’t been discussed sufficiently and thoroughly enough yet through different symposia and workshops, e.g. on the topics of Underwater Noise (in particular prevention of shipping noise), Alternative Technologies to Seismic Airgun Surveys for Oil and Gas Exploration and Acidification, on providing our whale footage for non-commercial, environment protection related purposes and on the funding of scientific research projects, we now put our main focus of attention on the implementation and running of projects in the Pacific that have been developed by Okeanos, in collaboration with Pacific Voyagers. Those projects and the core of our work in the Pacific are summarized in a strategic paper titled “The Blue Canoe Project”. 

The most important project to date was the introduction of solar and wind powered vessels in the Pacific, based on traditional Polynesian design and the ancient experiences and wisdom of the people in the Pacific. The beginning of this project was marked by the voyage ‘Te Mana O Te Moana’ (The Spirit of the Ocean) of a crew of seven so called Vaka Moana (Open Ocean Voyaging Canoes) that have been deliberately built for this trans-Pacific journey. The voyage started in April 2011 and ended in July 2012 after 22,000 miles across the Pacific. A number of other projects have emerged successively, and by now ten solar powered vessels that have been developed jointly by Okeanos and Pacific Voyagers have completed a total of about 300,000 miles. This equals the 15-fold circumnavigation of the earth.

Based on our experiences with the Vaka Moana we developed two additional types of boat: The Vaka Motu (Inter-Island Operation Canoe) and the Vaka Hapua (Lagoon-Operation Canoe). The latter is in an advanced conception and design stage. These three types of boat shall serve as pillars for the development of a sustainable, eco-friendly transport system for the people in the Pacific, based on their cultural heritage, traditional wisdom and skills.

The vessels are suitable for daily use and shall help to overcome the transport problems for people and goods in the Pacific in an economic and ecological way. We are putting all our emphasis and all of our resources into this project in order to further advance this success story for the Pacific and its inhabitants and to make the vision of a fossil-free, independent Pacific region a reality.

Meanwhile we have also focused our attention on the media, especially film, as we strongly believe that this is the best means in order to tell stories and to bring these stories to people to touch their hearts, to share the beauty of the ocean with them and to make them passionate for the protection of the sea. Through documentaries and a TV series that we are either producing ourselves and/or are financing we’d like to give thought-provoking impulses, show how “ordinary” people can become heroes for the ocean, and tell stories that arouse, infect and prove that every single one of us can have a positive impact on the future of our oceans and thus on our society through his individual actions.

You will soon find more information about our TV series "Te Mana O Te Moana - The Pacific Voyagers" which is currently being completed in New Zealand and our documentary film “Our Blue Canoe” on our website. There is plenty of information already about our new film "Racing Extinction" by Academy Award Winner Louie Psihoyos on our Film Projects site. We are very happy that just recently, after the Sundance Film Festival, Discovery Channel acquired the rights for this film so that it will be made available to a large worldwide audience.


The worldwide network Discovery Channel just acquired the domestic and international rights to our documentary "Racing Extinction". The Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea and its Chairman Dieter Paulmann are Executive Producer of this gripping documentary. Read more...