MSC Cruises, MSC Foundation, NatureMetrics Partner Of Project

MSC Cruises and MSC Foundation have announced a partnership with NatureMetrics with the primary goal of the project to collect comprehensive biodiversity data for marine species using the innovative technique of DNA sampling.

The “eBioAtlas: Biodiversity Sampling from Cruise Liners using eDNA” project will see eDNA from seawater while on-board collected and sent to NatureMetrics for analysis, allowing the team to discover and record the marine wildlife present across MSC cruise routes.

The project has global reach with the data contributing to the eBioAtlas, a global program by NatureMetrics and IUCN. The eBioAtlas unlocks the vast reach of the global community, now including MSC Cruises and MSC Foundation, to come together and provide a new, harmonized biodiversity data layer that will drive informed decision-making for the benefit of both people and nature.

Recognizing the urgent need for improved data to mitigate biodiversity loss and accelerate progress towards a nature-positive future, eBioAtlas will help move the needle for global priorities such as climate mitigation, adaptation and food security.

Through close collaboration with local stakeholders, marine non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national governments and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this initiative will enable up-to-date marine species assessments and reassessments in the North Atlantic.

The eBioAtlas program will acquire biodiversity data from three different MSC Cruises itineraries, providing accurate information for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

This data will be made accessible to third parties free of charge through the eBioAtlas partnership between NatureMetrics and IUCN, fostering conservation and restoration efforts throughout the Northern Atlantic.

Seawater samples will be collected from the vessels’ seawater intakes using specially designed eDNA collection kits.  These samples will then be sealed and sent to NatureMetrics for DNA analysis. The results, along with location details, will be shared with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to enhance their understanding of global ocean biodiversity.

The maiden ship to participate in the sampling initiative will be MSC Euribia, which will commence data collection in the Nordic region (Norway and North Sea,) followed by MSC Poesia (Iceland, Greenland) and MSC Preziosa (Iceland, Norway and Svalbard)

The partnership between NatureMetrics, MSC Cruises and the MSC Foundation highlights these organizations’ commitment to promoting marine conservation, supporting the Global Biodiversity Framework and building a sustainable future. Together, they strive to establish a solid foundation for informed decision-making and to inspire individuals to appreciate and protect the precious species that inhabit our shared spaces.