The answers to your most frequently asked questions.
What does a Sea Ranger do?
After extensive maritime training, Sea Rangers serve on one of the Sea Ranger Service’s specialized sailing work ships. Sea Rangers are deployed to assist nations in managing Marine Protected Areas, marine research, underwater landscape regeneration and conservation of historic shipwrecks as cultural heritage. In addition, the Sea Rangers play a growing role in seaweed farming (light offshore maintenance) and inspection work within offshore wind farms.
How can I become a Sea Ranger?
Anyone aged 18-29 can sign up for the Sea Ranger Bootcamp, where Sea Ranger recruits are trained and selected. Not everyone entering the bootcamp will be selected as a Sea Rangers but for all participating the Sea Ranger Bootcamp serves as an intensive motivational training program that bolsters one’s teamwork efforts, leadership skills and personal development.
For those that pass the strict selection, the opportunity will follow to undergo a broad selection of maritime introductory training courses in the following weeks, typically already whilst onboard a Sea Ranger vessel. Those bootcamp participants selected as Sea Rangers will receive a full-time, paid employment contract. Typically Sea Rangers serve for a maximum of one year, after which they can transition to other maritime jobs. For all participants in the Sea Ranger bootcamp, there are additional job opportunities available with partners in the maritime sector.
Can anyone become a Sea Ranger?
Yes! Anyone between aged 18-29 can sign up for the Sea Ranger Bootcamp. There are a few conditions, which will be updated as the Sea Ranger Service expands into other countries over the coming years:
- You are between 18-29 years old.
- You are physically fit and fully motivated to become a Sea Ranger.
- Currently, the Sea Ranger Bootcamp is only taking place in The Netherlands and all courses are in Dutch. For safety reasons, we require all participants to speak and write Dutch fluently and hold a valid EU passport. We anticipate new Sea Ranger Services to be launched in the UK, US and Norway over the coming years.
- You are able to swim.
How old do you have to be to become a Sea Ranger?
You have to be between 18 and 29 years old on the first day that you start the Sea Ranger Bootcamp.
Are Sea Rangers paid for their work?
Yes, new Sea Rangers get full-time pay as soon as they are selected after the Sea Ranger Bootcamp.
How long is the training for Sea Rangers?
Anyone who passes the selection will have the opportunity to follow a broad selection of maritime introductory training courses over a number of months. In doing so, individual boundaries are pushed and improved by sailing, sports and all kinds of vocational training.
Training will primarily take place onboard a Sea Ranger vessel and Sea Ranger are paid while they simultaneously work and following training, typically in a full-time shift scheduled of two weeks on, two weeks off. Sea Rangers leave service and transition to other maritime employment after one year, having obtained a Rating as an Able Seafarer Deck, which is an internationally recognised standard for working as on any commercial vessel.
Why is the Sea Ranger uniform red?
Designing a recognisable uniform that represents both the urgency of the Sea Ranger mission to protect ocean life and presenting a professional image that clearly distinguishes Sea Rangers from either navy personnel or environmental activists, the red-white colour pallet was chosen for the Sea Ranger uniforms.
What does the Sea Ranger Service do at sea?
After extensive maritime training, Sea Rangers serve on one of the Sea Ranger Service’s specialized sailing work vessels. Sea Rangers are deployed to assist nations in managing Marine Protected Areas, marine research, underwater landscape regeneration and conservation of historic shipwrecks as cultural heritage. In addition, the Sea Rangers play a growing role in seaweed farming (light offshore maintenance) and inspection work within offshore wind farms.
The broader mission of the Sea Ranger Service is to ensure ocean conservation capacity and impact can be scaled up more readily. This means ensuring that management and regeneration of ocean areas can take place alongside a sustainable business case, generating income from multiple sources, instead of relying solely on government subsidies or philanthropic funds, which is the case is almost all current ocean conservation work.
How is commercial and conservation work combined?
Sea Rangers carry out a variety of tasks. Some commercial activities are directly contracted to the Sea Ranger Service by commercial firms or government agencies. this typically includes monitoring, surveillance or light maintenance work. Some other activities take place as part of research or conservation projects, which are typically subsidised through government or philanthropic funds.
Finally, there is work that the Sea Ranger Service carries out on a purely self-financed basis, where our company’s profits are reinvested back into our mission. This includes work where funds are normally very limited or not available. This includes regeneration work of underwater ecology, smaller research tasks and maritime heritage conservation.
How do you ensure the work at sea is carried out safely?
Safety is our number one priority. All Sea Rangers are trained extensively and always work at sea under direct supervision from an experienced and qualified captain and first mate. Regular safety drills are run onboard the ship and all safety equipment is periodically tested and certified.
In addition, Sea Ranger Service ships operate on a stringent Safety Management System (SMS), as required by the International Safety Management (ISM) Code for commercial offshore vessels. Although the vessels on which the Sea Rangers work are not legally required to work according to the ISM Code, the Sea Ranger Service has nonetheless implemented this code to ensure high safety standards on all its ships.
How does the Sea Ranger Service make impact?
The impact of the Sea Ranger Service is four-fold:
- Through recruiting, training, employing and coaching young adults as Sea Rangers towards a maritime career, and working in coastal communities and port cities where youth unemployment is typically high, the work makes a social impact as it offers unique employability opportunities to young people.
- By carrying out its ocean conservation work, the Sea Ranger Service makes a direct environmental impact. Over the coming years the organisation will work to increase our activities to include landscape regeneration, thereby improving carbon sequestration and lowering CO2 levels in the ocean.
- By developing, constructing and deploying sailing work vessels, versus traditional motor ships, the Sea Ranger Service is at the forefront of bringing low emission innovation to the maritime sector. The direct impact is lowering CO2 emission by up to 90% for its clients.
- In its activities recruiting and training Sea Rangers, the organisation offers employment opportunities to military veterans. In this regard a social impact is made, supporting this group in transferring their leadership skills to a younger generation.
For more information, please see our impact page
How is the work of the Sea Rangers sustainable?
The work of the Sea Ranger Service is both environmentally sustainable, as well as financially.
- By deploying purpose-built sailing work vessels versus traditional motor vessels to carry out its work at sea, the Sea Ranger cuts its CO2 emissions by up to 94,6% compared to using traditional motorised work vessels of the same size to perform similar work. This ensures our work out at sea is almost emission free.
- Having developed a business case that generates additional income through contracted work, the operations of the Sea Rangers are financially sustainable and not reliant on any one type of income source.
Why is there a need for the Sea Ranger Service?
Since humanity is dependent on healthy oceans and their ability to deliver vital resources and services, the Sea Ranger Service has developed a business model to advance both ocean conservation and sustainable blue economy development. Climate change, overfishing and plastics pollution are real threats to an ocean increasingly under strain from human activity.
Although numerous conservation treaties were signed in the last decades and there are now over 15,000 Marine Protected Areas globally, governments have limited capacity to manage such areas. Operating patrol vessels and recruiting and training staff is costly. A new, smart approach is needed, which is where the Sea Ranger Service model comes in. Our solution is to run the Sea Ranger Service as a professional maritime ranger service, combining commercial offshore services with environmental management at sea.
Do the Sea Rangers engage in activism?
No, the Sea Ranger Service is not involved in activism. In order to enlarge our impact, we believe that close collaboration with governments and industry is key.
Does the Sea Ranger Service accept any offshore work?
No, the Sea Ranger Service focuses specifically on environmental management tasks. Sea Rangers will not be involved in offshore activities such as oil and gas exploration, deep sea mining and fishing.
You protect oceans but also assist youths. Which is your core mission?
The mission of the Sea Ranger Service is really two-fold: to create a combined social and environmental impact, for both coastal communities and the ocean biodiversity and wildlife. We are equally passionate about these two issues and see this as the strength to our approach.
What kind of ships do the Sea Rangers work on?
Sea Rangers work on purpose-built sailing work vessels. These ships are certified as commercial work vessels yet operate primarily on sail power. Sea Ranger Ships is a subsidiary company of the Sea Ranger Service and established to develop and construct Sea Ranger vessels. For more information, please see the Sea Ranger Ships website
Why do you build your own ships? Is that really necessary?
Sea Ranger Ships offers purpose-built sailing work vessels that can be operated cost-effectively and cleaner, compared to the use of traditional motorised vessels. The purpose-built, steel-hulled sailing work ships are designed to carry out light maintenance and environmental management tasks offshore, thereby opening up a range of possibilities of contracted work for the Sea Rangers.
Because Sea Rangers are paid seafarers and carry out contracted work to aid ocean conservation work, the Sea Ranger Service is held to strict requirements for commercial offshore work vessels. No ‘normal’ sailing vessels could be used for this purpose. Even refitting existing sailing vessels would be too costly. Hence, Sea Ranger Ships was founded as a dedicated shipyard for developing and constructing this new type of commercial offshore sailing work vessels.
How are Sea Ranger ships financed?
Sea Ranger ships are constructed and charted to its clients, in principle Sea Ranger Service franchisees. Initial construction is financed through banking loans and commercial shipbuilding funds.
How are new Sea Rangers selected and trained?
Sea Rangers have to pass a physical and psychological evaluation before they join the Sea Ranger Bootcamp. During the bootcamp itself, recruits are trained hard to push their individual boundaries and are selected based on motivation and the level of personal development they undergo during the short bootcamp period. We value motivation and dedication to personal growth above all else.
When is the next Sea Ranger Bootcamp?
The Sea Ranger Bootcamps are typically organised every year in October. For more information on upcoming bootcamps, please visit the Sea Ranger Bootcamp website.
Why do military veterans run the Sea Ranger Bootcamp?
We believe that veterans are especially well placed to recruit and train Sea Rangers as the role requires a certain level of structure and discipline, which veterans can install in young Sea Rangers. In this inter-generational collaboration, essential leadership skills are also transferred to a younger generation. Furthermore, the Sea Ranger Service offers employment opportunities to military veterans as a way of showing gratitude to the personal sacrifices they made in service. For more information, please visit the veteran support page.
Why is there such focus on discipline during Sea Ranger training?
Working on a small ship, with a close-knit team for extended periods at sea, is a challenging and at times, dangerous, work environment. For this reason, running a structured and disciplined service is essential. Onboard there is a clear hierarchy and all personnel have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Whilst this may sound restrictive, at the same time, the Sea Ranger Service is an inclusive employer that offers opportunities for personal development and ensures a safe yet fun working environment.
Why do you call yourself a social enterprise?
The Sea Ranger Service is a company with a social heart and a passion for the oceans. We are a purpose-led and mission-driven company that works to make a positive impact in the local communities where we work and the ocean areas we work to conserve. To distinguish us from purely commercial companies, we refer to the Sea Ranger Service as a social enterprise.
How does the organisation ensure diversity in its hiring policies?
The Sea Ranger Service is strongly committed to embracing diversity, in all its forms. Half the Sea Rangers selected after the bootcamp are women and 50% of our board of director and management is made up of women. We actively recruit in working-class communities and establish our Sea Ranger Bootcamps to specifically offer opportunities within underserved coastal communities.
How is the Sea Ranger Service financed?
The Sea Ranger Service is financed through investments from businesses, banks and private investors. It also receives philanthropic funds and subsidies for specific projects.
Who owns the Sea Ranger Service?
The Sea Ranger Service companies are fully owned by a non-profit called the Sea Ranger Foundation. For more information, please see our governance page
Where do the profits of the company go to?
All profits from the Sea Ranger Service’s commercial activities flow back into supporting its social and environmental work.
Who is the highest paid in the organisation?
At the Sea Ranger Service, ship Captains are the highest paid, given that their role in coordinating and guiding the Sea Rangers at sea, comes with the greatest responsibility.
How many people work for the organisation?
For the current makeup of the Sea Ranger team, please see our team page
How does the Sea Ranger Service spend its money?
All financial reporting is freely accessible in our annual reports, which are available on our governance page
Is the Sea Ranger Service also active abroad?
A new social franchising model is in development that will enable entrepreneurs to start a Sea Ranger Service in their own country. This programme is expected to be launched in early 2021. The organisation is currently in talks with government officials and potential franchisees in the US, UK, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Greece and Indonesia.
I want to start a Sea Ranger Service in my country. What do I do?
If you are interested in being contacted once the Sea Ranger Franchising programme is launched, please visit this page to record your interest.
How did it all start?
The Sea Ranger Service is the brainchild of Dutch environmental conservationist and social entrepreneur Wietse van der Werf. After having worked in environmental conservation for 25 years and being awarded the prestigious Future for Nature award for his innovative conservation efforts, he founded the Sea Ranger Service in 2016. For more information, please visit our history page.