Who we are

When Ocean is Your Life

Founded in 2019, Ocean Missions NGO aims to inspire people to become Ocean Ambassadors and take direct action towards ocean conservation, using an excellent combination of science, education and adventure, through citizen-science activities in Northeast Iceland and seasonal research expeditions in SubArctic and Arctic regions onboard the legendary hybrid-electric Schooner Ópal. We conduct periodic scientific surveys within sensitive conservation areas to gather valuable information for scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders about wildlife and the ocean’s health. We explore places of special scientific interest or remote locations with difficult access for other vessels. We pay special attention to marine debris pollution including fishing gear and plastics, and study its impacts on the marine ecosystem, all while spreading the message of the serious threats the oceans are facing and encouraging people to make a positive change.

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About Us

This is Our Crazy Team

Belén García Ovide
Founder Project Manager MRM Marine Resources & Coastal Management, Belén is an Ocean passionate and energetic since she can remember, Belén has been studying the oceans and particularly whales when she started her degree in Marine Biology in 2012. Since then, she has been involved in different research projects in the fields of marine acoustics, noise and effects on marine mammals, bio tourism and participatory science. She has been working at sea since 7 years as a sailor and wildlife guide, exploring amazing places including both poles and the Caribbean waters. She truly believes that we are the ambassadors of the oceans and “our mission” is undoubtedly to take care of our oceans and is willing to show the world how to do it.
Heimir Harðarson
Captain of Schooner Ópal Co- founder of Ocean Missions. An explorer by heart and sailor by soul. Heimir has worked on boats for more than 20 years, mainly as a captain of beautiful ocean going schooners. His passion for travelling has marked his life and while experiencing different cultures in almost 90 countries he has learned how important it is to start taking actions against pollution and over-harvesting of our planet in general.
Doctor Charla Jean Basran
Whale Researcher Scientific Advisor, Charla, is a marine biologist and a whale researcher with a master’s in marine and coastal management, who recently completed her PhD. In biology focused on whale entanglement in fishing gear. She has been passionate about the ocean from a young age and has worked on ocean-related projects, from sea stars to whales, for over 10 years. Her main area of interest is contributing research that helps to find a harmonic balance between human-uses of the ocean and the preservation of ocean ecosystems, as well as participating in scientific education and citizen science projects that contribute to spreading awareness about ocean-related issues and encouraging people to make a positive change.
Enorha Guimard
Acoustic researcher/Science communication Enorha is a freelance wildlife scientist, MMO/PAM operator, naturalist guide and educator. During her study and career, she has traveled in different countries in the world to work on wildlife conservation and found herself fascinated by these giant creatures living in the oceans and seas. It’s saying that we always protect what we love. It’s her love for nature, the ocean and the wildlife that she is today part of Ocean Missions, helping on different projects, with her skills in science and marine biology. Her favorite topic is science communication.
Taïme Smit Pellure
Social Media and Outreach Taïme has a master's degree in marine biology. Since her earliest childhood, she has always known that she wanted to dedicate herself to studying and saving the oceans, which led her to participate as the biologist for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, notably for the Divina Guadalupe and Milagro operations. Since then, she has not been separated from the sea, carrying out cetacean photo-identification and acoustic campaigns in several different countries. She also founded and coordinated the Salvar Fonsalía media campaign, which managed to stop the construction of a macro-port in a protected area in the Canary Islands. Taïme knows that the battles for the oceans are fought at sea and from land, through awareness, research, and social work. All together we will save our greatest treasure.
Carlota Vialcho
Clean-up Coordinator/ Educator MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Carlota was born far from the ocean but as soon as she stepped on a boat, she managed her way to live close to the sea. Since 2014 she has been sailing onboard different conservation projects studying cetaceans and assessing human impacts in the marine environment. Impressed by animals and nature, she truly believes that knowledge without action is useless (and vice versa). You will easily find her thinking how to minimize our negative impact in the world while trying to create a better place for all beings. She joined our team in 2022 and she is coordinating the beach clean-up network in the North East of Iceland.

We collaborate closely for support by developing similar projects, data sharing, scientific publications and or for professional advice

Science Partners

Conservation Partners

Media & Divulgation Partners

Current Funders

Ocean Missions is a project in cooperation with North Sailing

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