New ocean conservation project aims to combat climate change

Written by Parisa Hashempour

Water Revolution Foundation, an organisation dedicated to accelerating sustainability in the yachting industry, has today launched a new superyacht ocean conservation project. The goal of the new enterprise is to help create Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs), spaces at sea where whales and other marine mammals can thrive. The move is a bid to protect marine ecosystems and counter the negative effects of climate change. Dolphins and yacht Photo: Jeff BrownPlankton are microscopic plant-like organisms. Known to be the oceans’ carbon sinks, they absorb a staggering quarter of all CO2 created in the world and create as much oxygen, and absorb as much CO2, as all forests and grasslands combined. Whales mix waters and fertilise them, developing healthy habitats for phytoplankton. This means that in order to protect plankton, whales must first be protected.WhaleIn the new scheme, areas are identified as IMMAs and then included in a dedicated e-Atlas and searchable database, accessible by governments and other regulatory bodies. Acknowledging where these areas exist is the first step towards implementing marine protected areas, marine spatial planning and zoning measures that allow marine mammals to flourish.Whales The project feeds into superyacht-specific operational programmes, and the Water Revolution Foundation is crowdfunding, encouraging donations from the superyacht industry. Executive Director of the Water Revolution Foundation, Robert Van Tol, explains, “Yachting is all about enjoying the ocean’s beauty and flourishing marine life. The ocean being such a critical natural resource, it is only logical to look after it, and consider it as a major stakeholder of our business, and crucial for a sustainable business for the future. Therefore, yachting ocean conservation is not philanthropy, it is investment — with an actual return. WRF wants to help the yachting community make effective decisions in supporting ocean conservation projects.” 

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