Did you know ? (faq)

Find the answers to the questions you ask yourself
on The SeaCleaners and the Manta Project.

Manta Faq

The main objective of the Manta is to collect and treat (store or recycle) macro waste at sea before it breaks down and reach the depth of the ocean or the ocean gyres where it will no longer be recoverable.

The boat will be equipped with a scientific laboratory where we can do research on plastic pollution as well as use it as an educational platform to organize awareness actions during the stopovers.

Yvan Enfant

Yvan Bourgnon sailed around the world with his parents when he was 8. In 2013, when he sailed solo around the world he realized that all the oceans he knew when he was a child were now polluted. He wanted to take action and launched the Manta project.

Raie Manta1The manta ray is the largest of all rays (with an average of 7 meters). Notwithstanding its large size, this selachian eats plancton and exceptionally crustaceans by bringing them to its mouth with its cephalic fins. Genuine giant filter, this was the inspiration to name it Manta.

BateauYvan Bourgnon s’est entouré d’experts, d’architectes navals et de scientifiques pour réaliser l’étude de faisabilité. Au terme de cette étude de faisabilité, un concept de navire avec ses 4 gréements de type Dynarig et ses 2 éoliennes de type Darrieus, a été choisi pour servir de base aux actions de communication. 

Néanmoins l’étude de faisabilité présente également d’autres pistes de conception qui sont actuellement explorées lors de la réalisation des études de conception préliminaires, l’objectif étant de rendre le bateau le plus efficace possible dans ses missions de collecte, tout en gardant le contrôle des coûts d’investissement et d’exploitation du navire.

Bateau Faq

We would be very pleased to just launch one boat, as soon as we can, hoping that nations all over the world will follow through. The Manta will therefore be the Ambassador boat to demonstrate its efficiency in the waters of many countries. We hope that these demonstrations will convince other actors (governments, fishing organizations, tourism boards and more) and that they will follow through by purchasing other Manta boats. The objective we set for ourselves is to reach a flotilla of 50 boats by 2050!

PollutionIt’s difficult to estimate because it depends on our capability to stop dumping waste in the oceans. Based on the present amount of waste, we estimate that several hundreds of boats would have to operate all year long. The SeaCleaners doesn’t only act on the water but also organizes preventive actions (awareness building campaigns, educational programmes, development of local circular economies by promoting  plastic waste recovery solutions) in other to address the source of the problem and to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the oceans.

Planete Plastique

We want to be positive, we believe that if we act collectively we can reduce the damage and, in the long run, master the problem. To stop plastic pollution remains impossible as long as we continue mass production and consumption like we do today.

We hope (and we are putting everything we can in place through our educational and awareness actions) to change the mindset as quickly as possible and to develop a collective conscience to face and solve this problem. We have to believe we can and take action!

rentabilité du bateau

The SeaCleaners association aims at solving the problem of marine pollution generated by plastic waste. We can, to a certain extend, compare it to waste collection on land. Is the waste collection profitable? No but it’s necessary since we couldn’t live in areas covered in trash.

However, while developing the concept of the Manta, all efforts were made to use the financial funds provided by the sponsors as effectively as possible. We want to design a boat that will not only be less expensive to build (while keeping the maximum performance of waste collection) but also less expensive to operate (by increasing its energy autonomy to reduce the consumption of fuel, by keeping the number of crew members and operators down, etc.).


We rely on donations by individuals and sponsoring companies to cover the operating costs of the association and the financing of the design and construction of the first boat.

We also receive some support thanks to our online shop.

Impact Bateau Faune Flore

Everything has an impact and it would be wrong to say it wouldn’t but we will minimize it.

The boat will be equipped with a system based on ultrasounds to keep marine animals and fishes away when the boat approaches. Except in particular cases, anchorage will not be necessary and stopovers will be planned in advance in ports equipped with the necessary infrastructures to handle the waste brought by the boat which means that the impact on fauna and flora will be minimum.

By combining our efforts!

We can all change our habits to improve our environment and reduce plastic pollution.

Let’s take a few examples:

  • 2050Develop pour consumption habits to reach “zero waste”: less plastic, less packaging and more bulk purchasing.
  • Pick up trash on beaches, at sea, in forests, in the countryside, in cities, etc. as soon as possible.
  • Sort out our waste.
  • Recycle waste to encourage all countries to reconsider waste as potential resources, financially valuable (by recycling or energy production for example).
  • Educate our acquaintances on a daily basis to raise awareness of the benefits of sustainability.
  • Smile (a lot!) and persist (even more!!!).

The reduction of plastic pollution will only be possible if everyone takes action, individuals, governments and companies. Facing such an enormous challenge requires mass and collective involvement. All levers must be activated: progress in industrial processes, government policies and individual behaviors.

It’s up to everyone to start changing, to take full responsibility and to be an example for others to follow!

Carte Collecte

We will be operating in areas where the volume of waste is the most important, estuaries or mouths of the 10 most polluting rivers for example. It has been proven that 90% of plastic pollution is mainly being dumped in 10 rivers which in turn pollute the oceans (mainly in Asia, Africa and South America).

The targeting will be based on satellite images that we will collect and also on exploratory campaigns run by other associations, NGOs or any other specialized organization ready to support our cause.

Manta Usine 1

The waste will be brought on board by collecting belts. They will then be manually sorted. The organic waste without any plastic particle will then be rejected in the sea.

The remaining waste will be partly recycled in energy and the rest will be compacted and stored to be unloaded in different ports where they will be processed by local waste treatment or recycling companies.


The objective is to launch the boat in 2022 to proceed with the first waste collections in 2023.

Micro ParticulesUnfortunately not.

Collecting micro-particles is extremely difficult, nearly impossible today.

The SeaCleaners with the Manta project will focus on floating macro-waste in the areas of high density and where they will be the most concentrated such as in estuaries and river mouths as well as where they were the most exposed to UV. This will make it possible to collect them before their break down or disintegrate to become micro-particles.

Quantity of CO2 released in the atmosphereEnergie Bateau

In order to reduce the quantity of CO2 released in the atmosphere, the Manta will mainly use renewable energies (wind, sun,…) to navigate and ensure the functioning of all equipments on board. The consumption of fuel will be reduced to the strict minimum.

Quantity of energy used      

The total energy required for operating the Manta is being evaluated. The efforts to optimize it is being centered on the collecting and recycling equipments. Other evaluations are being scheduled for the propulsion systems.

Quantity of water used?

The quantity of water necessary for operating the Manta hasn’t been defined yet. It will not only depend on the number of crew members, operators and visitors but also on the processes to prepare waste for energy production. Indeed, certain processes require for the waste to be rinsed off

Usine Solution

The Manta is the only solution being developed today which allows for the mass collection of waste as well as for targeting specific areas with high densities of floating macro-waste at the surface of oceans before they break down and even disintegrate.

Most other initiatives are based on preventive actions (raising awareness, information, education, etc.) or waste collection on beaches which The SeaCleaners also organizes either as such or by supporting other NGOs or associations.

As far as other actions to collect waste at sea are concerned, they are generally of reduced scale (small collecting capacities on trawlers for example or passive collection by drifting for example which collect plastics which are already largely disintegrated.

The technical obstacles to overcome in the design of the Manta are:

  • Plan BateauThe size of the boat in order to offer a large storage capacity without making it too heavy hence requiring very powerful propulsion systems;
  • The selection of systems and equipments that were already proven to reduce technical risks;
  • The development of systems and installations with maximized automation to reduce the number of crew members and operators;
  • The development of economical systems and installations in terms of energy consumption to maximize the autonomy of the Manta;
  • The specific production for marine usage of some systems and equipments that were designed for use on land only; they therefore have to be protected from marine corrosion;
  • The integration of systems and equipments and their coordinated operation to ensure energy efficiency;
  • The team of the Manta project concentrates on minimizing the risks in both the design and the technical integration by choosing known systems and by relying on experts in specific fields.


Following a feasibility study, we estimated that the number of people on board will be limited to 40:

  • 28 crew members and operators (all sailors) for navigating and operating the factory, 12 to 15 for navigation and 13 to 16 operators for the collecting unit, the treatment and recycling of waste.
  • 12 scientists, environmental educators and guests, these not being sailors.

Plan Bateau2The draft is 3-4m varying according to the amount of waste stored on board.


The selection of the shipyard where the Manta will be built has not been finalized yet but, considering the width of the boat, not many shipyards have the capacity to build her.

The consultation of shipyards will be initiated at the end of the preliminary concept studies, as soon as the principal plans will be available, probably during the second semester of 2019.

We would like to work with a french shipyard. However, we are open to other solutions to meet our budget requirements.



The width of the boat following the feasibility study might limit the access of the Manta to certain ports.

A study is presently underway to determine if these limitations are restrictive.

Usine Collecte

The collection campaigns will last 30 to 60 days depending on the density of the waste to be collected, the storage capacity of the boat and the availability of renewable energy sources (wind and sun).


For the moment the model of the Manta is scaled to compact and store 600M2, the equivalent of 250 tons of waste.


The objective is to collect 10,000 tons per year.


According to international maritime laws, the waste found belongs to those who find them. However in the territorial waters where the Manta will mainly make the collection campaigns (in estuaries and river mouths) the ownership of the waste collected will depend on the national laws where the Manta will be operating.

For these reasons, discussions are being held with local authorities prior to launching collection campaigns to get the necessary authorizations to organize the collections.


We don’t anticipate for the Manta to anchor for long periods of time between collection campaigns except during planned periods of maintenance. The boat will also be in ports for limited periods of time during which awareness and educational campaigns will take place for the local population and to ensure the promotion of solutions to reduce ocean pollution to the local organizations.

Voiles Dynarig

As for all sails of existing riggings, the sails of the Manta must be furled (foldable) in case of extreme wind conditions. They are then protected against wind blasts.

As far as the masts are concerned, they are scaled to resist the most extreme weather conditions including hurricanes.

Tapis Collecteur

The collecting belts will have an adapted tilt and blades to lift the waste collected at the surface of the water to prevent waste from going back in the water.

Such systems already exist and have been validated at smaller scales in ports or in calm seas. A test campaign will be done in 2019 with a scaled prototype to confirm and optimize the operation of these collecting belts on the Manta.


We don’t know yet and we are running research right now to reduce her mass as much as possible because

  • the more heavy the vessel, the more it costs;
  • The more heavy it is the more energy it requires.

You can not find an answer to your questions ?


Do not hesitate to contact us !