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Marine Life & Conservation

Coca-Cola partners with The Ocean Cleanup on river plastic interception project

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The Coca-Cola Company and The Ocean Cleanup have announced that Coca-Cola will become a Global Implementation Partner for The Ocean Cleanup’s river project. The unique partnership brings the international company and technological non-profit together behind a clear objective: to stem the tide of plastic pollution entering the world’s oceans, by first intercepting waste in rivers.

Partnering Coca-Cola’s scale and global network with The Ocean Cleanup’s technology and data solutions, the initiative will help to expedite the deployment of cleanup systems across fifteen rivers around the world over the next 18 months, including the introduction and implementation of The Ocean Cleanup’s semi-autonomous solar-powered Interceptor™ river cleanup solutions. It also aims to engage and mobilize both industry and individuals around the world to address plastic pollution, eliminating plastic waste entering the world’s oceans and supporting ecosystems, species and water resources.

The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to rid the oceans of plastic,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Cleanup. “With 1000 rivers emitting nearly 80% of river-carried plastic into oceans, this massive problem grows by the day, which is why we are always looking to accelerate our progress. Among the waste we collect with our cleanup systems, we find many plastic bottles, including Coca-Cola packaging, so I applaud them for being the first in the industry to join our mission, as part of their wider actions to make a positive impact on worldwide plastic pollution. Our clear intent is to take our learnings from this partnership, which has the potential to evolve in the future, and continue to scale rapidly. That’s why I believe this is good news for our oceans.”

The Interceptor Solution

The Interceptor was unveiled in 2019 and is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers. It is 100% solar-powered, extracts trash autonomously, and is capable of operating in the majority of the world’s most polluting rivers.

Through the partnership, The Ocean Cleanup together with Coca-Cola, will tackle fifteen rivers by the end of 2022, with the two organizations working collaboratively towards their shared goal of eliminating waste. Two Interceptors included in this partnership have already been installed by The Ocean Cleanup in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic and Can Tho, Vietnam. For these rivers, the partnership will help provide support in the development of waste management solutions for collected trash and the organizations plan to extend the footprint of the project across thirteen additional rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup brings demonstrated know-how, with the experience and proven expertise in plastic-collecting technologies, their deployment, the issue and science of plastic pollution, the data from their deployments and how to address it. Coca-Cola will support The Ocean Cleanup through its global network, which includes operations in more than 200 countries and territories. It will provide support on the ground for the local community engagement needed to deploy new Interceptors, as well as in the subsequent processing of the collected plastic via waste management expertise in support of a circular economy. The Ocean Cleanup and Coca-Cola will work together to secure the new partners and investment needed to continue to scale the enterprise through the roll-out of additional Interceptor solutions, as well as to secure licensing support and deploy River Monitoring System (RMS) cameras to conduct further analysis of river pollution.

For more information visit The Ocean Cleanup website by clicking here.

In response to the news, Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said:

“It is not surprising that the world’s worst plastic polluter is pouring money into yet another cleanup effort so it can continue using single-use plastic. Coca-Cola continues to talk about a world without waste while producing 120 billion bottles a year. The company is fully aware that most of its bottles will not be recycled. Hundreds of millions of plastic Coke bottles will again be dumped or burned this year, and unfortunately this partnership will not prevent that from happening. 

“The world has been asking Coca-Cola to get serious about plastic pollution for a long time. We will know they are serious about keeping bottles out of our environment when they start supporting bottle deposit programs. We will know they are serious about preventing all forms of plastic pollution when they stop producing endless piles of throwaway plastic bottles and start prioritizing refill and reuse. Until then, it is just more of the same greenwashing from a big corporate polluter.”

For more information about Greenpeace visit their website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Marine Life & Conservation

Scubaverse meet the Ullapool Sea Savers

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On a recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland we met up with an amazing bunch of ocean conservationists called the Ullapool Sea Savers. They are a passionate group of young people based in the beautiful coastal town of Ullapool who are working to protect the marine environment around them and it was a real pleasure to hear their ideas and to witness just how committed they are to their cause.

They are a group run by kids for kids, in response to the inspirational work of local marine campaigner Noel Hawkins. Their core premise is that people will protect what they love and they aim to show people just how much there is to love about the sea. The Ullapool Sea Savers keep things positive and work to inspire those around them and each other.

Each Sea Saver is a Species Champion, and they nominate their preferred species, learn all about them and then present a “fact fie” to the rest of the group. This ties in with the Species Champion Initiative launched by Scottish Environment LINK which asks Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to lend political support to the protection of Scotland’s threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions’. This has led to some great support from MSPs when it comes to campaigning, such as Maree Todd MSP and Minister for Children and Young People (who is also from Ullapool which helped!) becoming the Flameshell Species Champion and working closely with Caillin who is Flameshell Ambassador for the Ullapool Sea Savers. Similarly, Gail Ross MSP for our region, took on the role of Seagrass Species Champion and helped USS campaign against plans to allow Mechanical Kelp Extraction (Dredging!) to be given the go ahead in Scotland. There are plenty more example of this great partnering scheme here.

On top of this, the Ullapool Sea Savers have formed pods, and each small group selects a local campaign to work on, with the “New Wave” working on a “Drain Campaign” to educate people that litter dropped on the street ends up in the surrounding sea. They recently surveyed the litter by the first drain in the campaign and found over 300 cigarette butts that would have all washed out to sea during the next rainfall.

The “Blue Starfish” are working on a crisp packet recycling campaign, starting at the local school with hopes to widen the scale going forward. There is now also the newly formed Seal Pups Pod and we look forward to seeing what campaign they decide to focus on.

Many of the group have passed qualifications in snorkeling, diving, boat handling and they are currently learning to operate an ROV that they plan to use to mark underwater litter and ghost nets so it can be retrieved by divers. The group are also regularly found litter-picking along the coastline. As a group they have a powerful voice and recently won the Sunday Mail, Young Scot Awards 2021 for the Environment Category.

The older kids mentor some of the younger ones that are new to joining the group and what really struck us on meeting the group was how keen they were to pass on their wealth of knowledge and their passion for ocean conservation. We chatted to them about what we do and told them about some of our favourite marine life encounters from around the world. I hope we inspired them just a fraction as much as they inspired us! 

To find out more about the Ullapool Sea Savers you can visit their website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Discover Whale Sharks in the Galapagos tomorrow with Regaldive

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Regaldive are inviting divers to join them next Wednesday for a virtual tour of the Galapagos Islands.  Marine biologist Sofía Green will give an insight into her incredible encounters with Whale Sharks.

An expert on Whale Shark behaviour, Sofía has been part of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project since 2017 and is at the forefront of global Whale Shark research. She will also be leading Regaldive’s exclusive Whale Shark Expedition in September 2022, timed to visit during prime Whale Shark season. Founder of the Galapagos Whale Shark Project, Jonathan Green, will also be joining the Zoom event taking questions so do join them to find out more.

  • Date: Wednesday, 16 June
  • Timings: 7-8 pm (UK time)

Register via email here to book your place and let the team know if you have any questions you would like to ask Sofia and Jonathan.

www.regaldive.co.uk

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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