Industry activists: How superyacht companies are helping save the oceans
by Zoe Dickens
The crisis facing the world’s oceans thanks to issues such as plastic pollution and climate change is now well known – especially by those in the yachting industry who spend their lives on the sea and its coastlines. As well as the impact these crises are having on marine environments, clean, healthy oceans are integral to enjoying the yachting lifestyle and, as such, many yachting companies have now taken up the cause and joined the fight to help save our seas. Read on to discover some of the key campaigns, partnerships and collaborations.
Moonen Yachts and the Plastic Soup Foundation
In May 2018, Moonen Yachts became the latest yachting company to join the fight for the oceans when it announced a new partnership with the Plastic Soup Foundation. This long-term collaboration will see the builder support the Foundation's work against ocean plastic pollution as well as carrying out its own campaigns to educate the wider public around the issue, including encouraging its employees to take part in events, triathlons, bike rides and regattas aimed at raising money and awareness. The first of these will be a 10km Vestingloop run taking place in Den Bosch on May 27, 2018.
Boat International’s Ocean Awards and Ocean Talks
Now in its third year, the Boat InternationalOcean Awards highlight the incredible work being done around the world to preserve marine life, prevent coral bleaching and clean the aquatic environment. This year’s finalists have now been selected with the winners to be announced in the June 2018 issue of Boat International. 2018 also saw the inauguration of Ocean Talks, a one-day event held in London on June 13 that brought together international experts to speak on a range of topics including how businesses can change their practices to help the oceans, stories from local initiatives around the world and personal accounts from change-makers who have had a big impact on marine conservation.
Princess Yachts and eXXpedition
Another builder to join the fight is Princess Yachts which announced its sponsorship of eXXpedition in March 2018. Founded by long-time ocean advocate Emily Penn, eXXpedition specialises in all-female sailing expeditions which bring together women from vastly different professions and backgrounds to research and raise awareness around the plight of the oceans. Its next voyage will see 14 women sail from Hawaii to Seattle via the North Pacific Gyre, the densest concentration of ocean plastic accumulation on the planet, to collect data for scientific research and inspire global change at the policy level.
Sunseeker and the Blue Marine Foundation
In August 2017 Sunseeker International announced a long-term corporate partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation. Sunseeker’s sponsorship of the British-based marine charity will help fund its mission to put 30% of the world’s oceans under protection by 2030 in order to reduce overfishing, replenish fish stocks and guard rare marine species. Sunseeker will also provide support to the Blue Marine Yacht Club which was launched by Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2012 to unite the world’s yachting community under a combined aim of ocean protection.
Fraser and Plastic Oceans
Brokerage firm Fraser dedicated its efforts to the cause of ocean plastic pollution in January 2017 when it announced an on-going partnership with Plastic Oceans. Unlike other marine organisations, Plastic Oceans is a network of independent non-profits and charities that all work towards a common goal of eradicating ocean plastic. As part of its partnership, Fraser has enlisted the expertise of Plastic Oceans to create a set of guidelines for its clients, yacht owners, crew and employees outlining how to reduce their plastic usage both on board and off, as well as organising beach cleans in key yachting locations. To further this commitment, Fraser has also partnered with CanO Water, an innovative brand offering fully recyclable cans of still and sparkling mineral water with resealable closures. These are now distributed to all Fraser’s yachts and used wherever possible at major yacht shows in place of traditional plastic bottles.
Founded in 2017 Y.CO’s Clearwater campaign is a broad initiative which has seen the brokerage firm collaborate with a number of leading brands and experts to tackle numerous environmental issues affecting the oceans. As well as supporting the work of Clearwater spokeswoman Emily Penn, Y.CO has partnered with reusable bottle company S’well to reduce plastics on board and in its offices, screened Plastic Oceans’ documentary A Plastic Ocean on board its managed yachts to educate crew and worked alongside GSD (Global Support & Development) to deploy yachts to help in disaster relief zones. Y.CO also offers official accreditation for yachts and crew who make outstanding contributions to ocean conservation and encourage captains to nominate monthly ‘Plastic Heroes’ to lead the charge for environmentally on board operations.
MB92 and Compositeworks
Barcelona's MB92 refit facility and French shipyard Compositeworks will be joining forces to take on the London to Monaco bike ride in 2018. Organised by and held in support of the Blue Marine Foundation, the event takes place in the week preceding the Monaco Yacht Show with all money raised donated to numerous ocean conservation projects. Five MB92 team members, led by team captain José-Maria Ros, and two members from Compositeworks will join the cycle in La Ciotat, France, and complete the last three legs of the journey, aiming to raise £7,000.
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