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Water Sampling at Sea in French Guyana



Sergio Davì’s OCEAN TO OCEAN RIB ADVENTURE is not just an adventure voyage for the ages but also a scientific one. While not a scientist, Davì is passionate about the seas, marine fauna and protection of our oceans.

One of the essential partnerships in this journey is Sergio’s collaboration with two prominent marine biology research universities in Italy to collect water samples to be analyzed for microplastics and heavy metals. Since starting his trip, he has been regularly collecting seawater samples in areas not often studied to send back to the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institutes in both Sicily (IZSSI) and Piedmont & Liguria (ISZPLV).


While resting up recently for a week in Kourou, French Guyana and enjoying the comforts of a bed, Sergio spent time exploring the Kourou river and estuary, also collecting water samples.

The Kourou river is 144 km (89 mi) long and has brown, muddy waters due to sediments picked up from the forest. Like many Guyanese rivers, it is often polluted by mercury due to clandestine gold mining. With many different fish species in the river, an essential source of food for the local populations, monitoring the heavy metal content of the waters is critical.


Sergio has also maintained a log of marine mammals he has come across, sharing that with IZSSI, IZSPLV and Italy’s National Reference Center for Diagnostic Investigations on Beached Marine Mammals.

“For a couple of years now, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with research institutes in Sicily and Palermo, with whom I share an interest in the protection of the marine environmental heritage, with particular attention to the state of health of our seas,” said Davì. “A few years ago, Piedmont’s institute also joined us with particular focus on the anthropic impact on the welfare of aquatic and terrestrial mammals. So it’s an honour to be able to combine my passion for the sea with environmental protection alongside important research institutes.”


Studies continue to show marine mammals as some of the first animals to be affected by the problems of climate change, which is significantly impacting the marine ecosystem. And Sergio’s observations and samples are just another data point to help us further address and understand the crisis at hand.

Kourou river in French Guyana

Water Sampling