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Marine Life & Conservation

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jeff Goodman talks with Alex Earl – Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation

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Project AWARE Foundation is a non-profit organization working with scuba divers worldwide to protect the ocean planet one dive at a time. With over 20 years in marine conservation experience and  conservation results, Project AWARE is focusing on major ocean issues where scuba divers are uniquely positioned to directly and positively affect real, long-term change – Sharks in Peril, Rays at Risk and Marine Debris, or trash in our oceans. Recently, Project AWARE has achieved major milestones including helping secure historic international protections for some of the world’s most threatened species of sharks and rays. Together, Project AWARE and dive volunteers also removed more than 133,000 lbs/60,000 kgs of trash from 300 underwater sites in one year alone.

Alex Earl’s biography and experience in the world of marine conservation is extensive. If you look him up on Linkedin be prepared for good long read. He is a man who is obviously passionate about our oceans and the protection of all the wildlife they encompass.

I asked Alex how he first became aware and interested in the sea.

Alex:  I was fortunate to grow up amidst one of the last wild frontiers on the planet in Stewart, British Columbia, Canada, situated right on the border between Alaska and British Columbia at the end of one of the longest fjords on the Pacific Coast. I spent many days sailing and exploring this coastline with my family and friends. Experiencing this pristine natural setting with wild salmon runs, otters, seals, sharks, porpoises, orcas and whales forged a deep desire to protect and conserve our environment.

Jeff:  At what point in your life did you realise our oceans were in serious decline?

Alex:  My parents were environmentally aware in the best spirit of the 60s and 70s and encouraged a strong respect for the natural world. They always emphasized that the pristine environment we were experiencing was rare and diminishing globally. My environmental awareness grew as a teenager, in university, volunteering in Central America, and completing outdoor guide training. However, the seminal moment for me in transitioning my awareness to advocacy and activism was completing my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver training in the Philippines in a Marine Protected Area. During the course, I learned about Project AWARE and my instructor, who was from the United Kingdom, was very passionate about marine conservation and diving. He planted the seed which, over time, lead to an epiphany that a professional commitment to marine conservation was my future. I used to lay awake at night staring at the ceiling feeling that I knew the environmental problems faced by the ocean and our planet but that I was not part of the solution. I felt I had to be part of the solution because I had no excuse and did not want to be an old man in the future looking into the eyes of children and young people who asked me why my generation did not do something when there was still time. Future generations are going to judge us harshly and they are going to need to be inspired by the actions of those who came before them as those in the environmental movement now have been by John Muir, Rachel Carson, David Brower, Paul Watson, Jane Goodall and David Suzuki for example.

Jeff:  Can you tell us about your first environmental campaign?

Alex: I worked on a rainforest seedling project in Costa Rica. I was also involved in raising awareness about climate change as a high school teacher in Japan. However, my first environmental campaign as an activist and professional environmentalist was with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society working organizationally to support Operation Migaloo in 2007. This campaign was Sea Shepherd’s annual whale defense campaign in Antarctica with 68 crew members at sea for 83 days covering 20,000 miles in the Southern Ocean. During that campaign, 484 whales were saved and no humpback or fin whales were killed.  Operation Migaloo was the first Sea Shepherd anti-whaling campaign to be filmed by Animal Planet and it’s profiled in Season 1 of the television series Whale Wars.

Jeff:  I see from your profile on the Project AWARE website (projectaware.org) that early in your conservation career you became a global executive for the ‘front line’ Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Having made a few films with Paul Watson I know how dedicated the crews and supporters of his campaigns are. I personally think direct action is often the only alternative left to us when confronting the impossible odds of bureaucracy, indifference and short term economics. What made you join Sea Shepherd rather than a more conventional conservation group?

Alex: I was very proud and honored to join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and to work with amazing activists across the globe like Kim McCoy, Chuck Swift, Carla Robinson, Kurt Lieber, Peter Hammarstedt, Alex Cornelissen, Jeff Hansen, and Geert Von Jon because I also share your perfectly stated sentiment that direct action is often the only alternative left when confronting the impossible odds of bureaucracy, indifference and short term economics. By the day, this is becoming more of the case. We are witnessing ecocide take place before our eyes to ecosystems and animals that have been on the planet for hundreds of millions of years and it’s a crime against future generations. Growing up, Sea Shepherd received prominent media attention in my home province of British Columbia. Aside from challenging whaling globally and the seal hunt in Eastern Canada, Sea Shepherd also fought battles over old growth clear cutting and wolf hunts. To me, in terms of directed action, they were profoundly filling that niche in marine conservation. It takes courage and commitment to push the boundaries and rules of society in order to effect change that would likely not otherwise happen.

Jeff:   How does Project AWARE differ from other conservation organisations?

Alex: Project AWARE is the only conservation organization exclusively focused on representing the global environmental voice of scuba divers. We offer impactful global solutions that divers and ocean advocates can be part of through citizen science. Through powerful partnerships and alliances like our  international membership in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for example, we ensure the voice of divers is heard where it has not traditionally been on an international policy level. We have a seat at the table to be part of discussions when and where they matter for some of the world’s most threatened species.

To me, Project AWARE represents one of the best investments in marine conservation because we have 20 years of achievements under our belt and a unique long-term corporate partnership with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) which provides us with powerful access to thousands of dedicated PADI Professionals and millions of certified scuba divers. Approximately, 1.5 million advocates are directly engaged with Project AWARE to date and we are growing. Our programs and campaigns align with some of the ocean’s top challenges globally, like the Dive Against Debris program which is the largest year-round underwater survey of its kind.  Our supporters are directly trained and positioned to help remove marine debris and advocate for litter prevention globally.

Jeff:  On the Project AWARE website it says you support an unprecedented global movement of divers acting in their own communities to protect oceans and implement lasting change. Can you tell us how that support manifests itself?

Alex:  That support manifests itself in many ways. Project AWARE is tackling ocean protection from two angles – we’re connecting the dots between a top-down and bottom-up approaches to implement change. Top down, through powerful partnerships and alliances of like-minded policy-makers and NGOs, we’re pushing for change at the highest levels of government. And two, in partnership with 1.5 million scuba divers and activists, we’re working at a grassroots level to take action in local communities of the world. Today, the dive community is becoming more and more aware of the power of its voice and its ability to influence change for critical conservation issues. For example shark and ray tourism is estimated to be worth $310,000,000 USD annually. This is an economic power that opens doors to conversations at a policy level like never before. At CITES in Thailand in 2013, this support manifested itself in the largest petition on behalf of sharks and rays (130,000 signatures) which was backed by celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio and Survivorman Les Stroud.

Jeff:  If an individual or group of divers have concerns about the conservation of their local area and wanted to start their own campaign, would Project AWARE be able to look at those concerns and offer help in some way?

Alex: Here at Project AWARE, we do believe that lasting change is people-powered. Our online conservation network, My Ocean (projectaware.org/MyOcean) was specifically designed as a platform for divers and local leaders to scale up environmental issues and actions for change. In My Ocean you can post local events and recruit volunteers, you can post images and updates on local campaigns and connect with like-minded advocates in the dive community My Ocean. So far, this unique community has over 9,000 members globally and any member can request assistance or advice on a peer to peer level. In addition, if a diver or group of divers have regional conservation concerns and want to create a local initiative or campaign they can also apply for funding from our annual Ocean Action Project. Beyond these avenues we always work as we can to provide advice or consultation to the dive community if requested about how they may address local conservation issues or create campaigns.

Jeff:  At the moment Project Aware seems to be focusing on two major concerns, Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris. How can people, especially divers, become involved?

Alex:  In 2014, Project AWARE is focused on Marine Debris through our Dive Against Debris program, Sharks in Peril, Manta Rays at Risk, the Ocean Action Project, and rolling out the new 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet. As the only marine conservation organization exclusively focused on the dive community there is always a welcome sign on our door for divers to become engaged together with us. If divers want to work on the marine debris issue we encourage them to become citizen scientists by organizing or taking part in a Dive Against Debris event in their local area or while travelling. The data collected is used in our policy efforts with government and industry to try to stop any more marine debris from entering our marine ecosystems which is the only long-term solution. Project AWARE has global policy coverage on this issue as a founding member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance (USA), a member of the Boomerang Alliance (Australia), and a member of Seas At Risk (Europe). If divers are passionate about sharks and rays and want to help raise awareness and funds for their conservation then we encourage them to organize or take part in a Finathon event. In 2013, over $65,000 USD was raised to support Project AWARE’s shark and ray program efforts. If divers want to organize their own campaigns for sharks and rays or marine debris they can apply to the Ocean Action Project or outline their project on My Ocean.  If PADI dive centers and professionals want to support Project AWARE they can join our 100% AWARE program ensuring that every dive student they train will receive a Project AWARE certification card and that our programs will receive regular funding that can be budgeted. We also encourage divers to sign up for our newsletter, to follow updates on our site and social media, and to help spread these updates for maximum awareness.

Jeff:  As we become more aware each year of the global decimation of our marine life, do you ever get despondent to the point of not knowing what to do next?

Alex:  Many things cross my desk that leave me questioning the state of humanity which could easily drive me to become despondent. It often seems like ignorance, greed, and destruction are exponentially outpacing valiant efforts to offset them. However, I have a three year old son, young nieces, staff and friends with young children so for them and the sake of their generation I don’t have the luxury of going to this place. I have also learned to maintain a balance of a healthy sense of humour and perspective. From an optimistic standpoint I know that I work with a team at Project AWARE that offers inspired and positive solutions. There are also many other marine conservation and environmental organizations doing great work which is inspiring and critical. Each of our efforts collectively are taking a bite out of the problem and they are making a difference. Change is happening but the battle is ensuring that it happens fast enough on a global scale. When I was a child society culturally accepted drinking while driving, not using seat belts while driving, no carseats for small children, and smoking with little to no limits. In a relatively short space of time society has recognized the dangers of these activities and placed limits on them. We have the capability to recognize the errors of our ways as a species and to change course. Now we need do this more quickly and globally or we face unimaginable consequences and the wrath of future generations.

Jeff:  We often hear statistics and opinions on sustainability and fish quotas, yet each year I see less and less marine life. We are advised to eat lots of fish and at the same make sure they are sustainably caught. To me, this is simply market forces at work where different species are looked upon as separate entities and not as crucial parts of global food chains. I feel there are few, if any, truly sustainable wild fisheries in existence. We seem to just keep species as close as possible to the boarders of extinction.

What do you truly think will happen to the state of our marine ecosystems in the years to come? 

Alex:  I am not a marine scientist or biologist, rather I am an activist and professional within the environmental non-profit sector so my opinions expressed here are from this sphere. I think that we are at a tipping point and must take profound and immediate action or face a predictable destiny where it is estimated that there will be virtually nothing left to fish by mid-century, where ocean acidification is rampant and where jelly fish become the predominant ocean species on the planet. The risks of not taking action have been well publicized but the real question is, can or will humanity rise to the occasion to make the change needed in time? I have great faith that this change will happen because I have personally experienced and there is a momentum of energy forward that will only grow stronger. I recall being very surprised and inspired when I worked at Sea Shepherd by the support we received from unlikely marine conservation supporters spread around the world who did not know each other but felt the same way. I have experienced this also at Project AWARE. What this tells me is that there something innate in human beings that want to be connected to nature and to protect it especially when we truly understand what is at risk.

Jeff:  I personally find that the majority of people I meet have little or no comprehension of the depleted state of our seas. It’s difficult for the majority to become involved while at the same time struggling to make a living, raise a family and pay the bills. What do you feel is the best way of addressing this?

Alex:  I agree Jeff.  The majority of people are so busy struggling making a living, raising a family, and paying the bills that they are left with very little time or energy to comprehend the rapid and unprecedented environmental depletion of our planet let alone act on it. These changes also create what is referred to as shifting baselines where we incrementally adjust to depletion in our environment to the point where we forget what real ocean abundance and diversity really is or was. Consequently it may not be apparent to many as to why we must act. It is very challenging to get the public to understand or internalize that our life support systems, including the 71 percent of the planet that the ocean constitutes, are at risk of collapse. I believe that constant and creative education, awareness, and communications, as well as cutting edge programs that enable the public to be part of the solution are key. While it is important to communicate how serious the situation is it is even more important to communicate hope, inspiration, and concrete solutions or paths forward.

Jeff:  The sea is my passion and I am just as thrilled to see hermit crabs changing shells as I am to see whales lunging through bait balls. I must confess though, the adrenalin factor is slightly higher with the whales. I’m sure you are asked this quite a lot, but do you have favourite places to dive or species to see?

Alex:  The sea is also my passion from its soul renewing beauty to watching the antics of the smallest to the largest marine animals. I am also a big fan of whales but my favorite species to see underwater are sharks, rays and giant pacific octopus.  Some of my favourite places to dive are British Columbia, Canada; the Philippines; the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and Cozumel, Mexico.

Jeff:  Could you sum up for us why it is so important to preserve our oceans and tell us how to best support their conservation in our daily lives?

Alex:  The ocean regulates our climate, holds 97 percent of Earth’s water, and supports the greatest abundance and diversity of life on our planet. Earth truly is an ocean planet. More has been invested in learning about other planets than our ocean. From a purely selfish point of view, it is important to preserve the ocean because the fate of humanity is tied to the fate of the ocean and marine animals. I believe if we don’t get this right and survive as a species then in the minimum we will permanently lose a deep spiritual, emotional, and creative part of ourselves that is tied to a healthy and abundant ocean. Esteemed Oceanographer and Project AWARE Advisory Board Member, Sylvia Earle, calls the ocean the blue heart of our planet and profoundly states that “our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years.” The time to act is now.

In terms of supporting conservation in one’s daily life, I think the starting point is to find an environmental non-profit with a mission and programs that speak to you and that you are passionate about. The Project AWARE team works hard to represent this to divers and ocean advocates. I would check third party charity evaluators and annual reports posted on non-profit sites to ensure that funds that are donated are used efficiently and for impact. Once you have found the right non-profit fit then sign up for any communications like newsletters and social media to stay on top the latest developments and volunteering options. Spread awareness with your family and friends. Don’t underestimate how important it is to invest in ocean protection. Marine conservation receives an extremely small amount of the funds that are given to the environmental movement. Public donations of any size are extremely important and make a difference. Individuals should not underestimate the power they have in their daily actions as well and should not assume that if they don’t act then all will be good because someone else will. We are all on duty protecting our ocean planet.

Jeff:  Thanks Alex.

[youtube id=”vfHFm-wj2qo” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

To find out more about Alex, click here.

To find out more about Project AWARE, click here.

Jeff is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

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Smart Shark Diving: The Importance of Awareness Below the Surface

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By: Wael Bakr

Introduction to Shark Diving Awareness‍

In the realm of marine life, few creatures captivate our interest, and sometimes our fear, like the shark. This fascination often finds a home in the hearts of those who venture beneath the waves, particularly scuba divers who love shark diving. It’s here that shark awareness takes the spotlight. Shark awareness is not just about understanding these magnificent creatures; it’s about fostering respect, dispelling fear, and promoting conservation. As Jacques Cousteau once said, “People protect what they love.” And to love something, one must first understand it.

Shark awareness is not a mere fascination; it’s a responsibility that we owe to our oceans and their inhabitants. From the smallest reef shark to the colossal great white, each species plays a crucial role in the underwater ecosystem. Our understanding and appreciation of these creatures can help ensure their survival.

However, shark awareness isn’t just about protecting the sharks; it’s also about protecting ourselves. As scuba divers, we share the underwater world with these magnificent creatures. Understanding them allows us to dive safely and responsibly, enhancing our experiences beneath the waves.

Importance of Shark Awareness in Scuba Diving

The relevance of shark awareness in scuba diving cannot be overstated. Sharks, like all marine life, are an integral part of the underwater ecosystem. Their presence and behavior directly influence our experiences as divers. By understanding sharks, we can better appreciate their role in the ocean, anticipate their actions, and reduce potential risks.

Awareness is crucial for safety when shark diving. Despite their often-misunderstood reputation, sharks are generally not a threat to humans. However, like any wild animal, they can pose risks if provoked or threatened. By understanding shark behavior, we can identify signs of stress or aggression and adjust our actions accordingly. This not only protects us but also respects the sharks and their natural behaviors.

Moreover, shark awareness enriches our diving experiences. Observing sharks in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience. Understanding them allows us to appreciate this spectacle fully. It’s not just about seeing a shark; it’s about understanding its role in the ecosystem, its behavior, and its interaction with other marine life. This depth of knowledge adds a new dimension to our diving experiences.

Understanding Shark Behavior: The Basics

The first step in shark awareness is understanding shark behavior. Sharks are not the mindless predators they are often portrayed to be. They are complex creatures with unique behaviors and communication methods. Understanding these basics can significantly enhance our interactions with them.

Sharks communicate primarily through body language. By observing their movements, we can gain insights into their mood and intentions. For example, a relaxed shark swims with slow, fluid movements. In contrast, a stressed or agitated shark may exhibit rapid, jerky movements or other signs of discomfort such as gill flaring.

Sharks also use their bodies to express dominance or assertiveness. A dominant shark may swim with its pectoral fins pointed downwards, while a submissive shark may swim with its fins flattened against its body. Understanding these signals can help us interpret shark behavior accurately and respond appropriately.

How Shark Awareness Enhances Scuba Diving Experiences

Shark awareness significantly enhances our scuba diving experiences. It transforms encounters with sharks from mere sightings into meaningful interactions. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s the power to appreciate, respect, and safely interact with one of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants.

A thorough understanding of behavior when shark diving allows us to interpret their actions and responses accurately. It enables us to recognize signs of stress or aggression and adjust our behavior accordingly. This not only ensures our safety but also promotes responsible interactions that respect the sharks and their natural behaviors.

Furthermore, shark awareness adds a new layer of depth to our diving experiences. It’s one thing to see a shark; it’s another to understand its behavior, its role in the ecosystem, and its interactions with other marine life. This depth of understanding enriches our experiences and fosters a deeper appreciation for our underwater world.

Misconceptions About Sharks: Busting the Myths

Unfortunately, sharks are often misunderstood, feared, and even demonized. These misconceptions can be detrimental, not only to our experiences as divers but also to shark conservation efforts. As part of shark awareness, it’s important to debunk these myths and present sharks in their true light.

First and foremost, sharks are not mindless killing machines. They are complex creatures with unique behaviors and communication methods. They are not interested in humans as prey and, in most cases, prefer to avoid us.

Secondly, not all sharks are dangerous. Out of over 500 species of sharks, only a handful are considered potentially harmful to humans. Most sharks are harmless, and even those that can pose a threat are unlikely to attack unless provoked.

Lastly, sharks are not invincible. They are vulnerable to a host of threats, most notably human activities such as overfishing and habitat destruction. They need our understanding and protection, not our fear and persecution.

Shark Behavior: What to Expect When Scuba Diving

When scuba diving, it’s important to know what to expect from sharks. Most encounters with sharks are peaceful and awe-inspiring. However, as with any wild animal, it’s essential to be prepared and understand their behavior.

Most sharks are shy and cautious creatures. They are likely to observe you from a distance, often circling around to get a better look. This is normal behavior and not a sign of aggression.

However, if a shark becomes agitated or feels threatened, it may exhibit signs of stress such as rapid, jerky movements or gill flaring. In such cases, it’s essential to remain calm, avoid sudden movements, and slowly retreat if possible.

Remember, every encounter with a shark is an opportunity to observe and learn. With understanding and respect, these encounters can be safe, enriching, and truly unforgettable experiences.

Practical Tips for Shark Awareness During Scuba Diving

Being aware of sharks during scuba diving is about more than just understanding their behavior. It’s about applying this knowledge in practical ways to ensure safe and respectful interactions. Here are a few tips for shark awareness during scuba diving.

Firstly, always observe sharks from a safe distance. Avoid approaching them directly or making sudden movements, as this can startle or threaten them.

Secondly, never attempt to touch or feed sharks. This can disrupt their natural behavior and potentially put you at risk.

Lastly, always respect the sharks and their environment. Avoid disturbing their habitat or interfering with their natural behaviors. Remember, we are visitors in their world.

Promoting Shark Conservation through Scuba Diving

Scuba diving offers a unique platform for promoting shark conservation. As divers, we have the privilege of witnessing the beauty and complexity of sharks firsthand. We can share these experiences with others, fostering understanding and appreciation for these magnificent creatures.

Moreover, we can actively contribute to shark conservation. Many diving operators offer opportunities to participate in shark research and conservation initiatives. By participating in these programs, we can help ensure the survival of sharks for future generations.

Lastly, we can advocate for sharks. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can help dispel misconceptions about sharks and promote their protection. Every voice counts in the fight for shark conservation.

Courses and Resources for Shark Awareness and Behavior

There are many resources available for those interested in shark awareness and behavior. Scuba Diving International as well as numerous conservation-based organizations offer courses and workshops on shark biology, behavior, and conservation. These courses provide in-depth knowledge and practical skills for interacting with sharks responsibly and safely. From courses like our Marine Ecosystems Awareness Specialty and our Advanced Adventure Certification provide you with the information you need to tackle this new challenge!

Additionally, there are many online resources available, including websites, blogs, and forums dedicated to shark awareness and conservation. These platforms offer a wealth of information and a community of like-minded individuals passionate about sharks.

I encourage anyone interested in sharks to explore these resources, to sign up for one of SDI’s courses call your local dive center or instructor or reach out to your regional representative/ World HQ to find where the class is being taught near you. Knowledge is the first step towards understanding, appreciation, and conservation.

Conclusion: The Role of Shark Awareness in Future Scuba Diving Experiences

As we look to the future, the role of shark awareness in scuba diving will only continue to grow. As our understanding of these magnificent creatures deepens, so too will our appreciation and respect for them. This knowledge will shape our interactions with sharks, enhancing our experiences and promoting responsible and respectful behavior.

Shark awareness is more than just an interest; it’s a responsibility. It’s a commitment to understanding, respecting, and protecting one of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants. And it’s a journey that I invite all divers to embark on.

As we dive into the blue, let’s dive with awareness. Let’s dive with respect. And let’s dive with a commitment to understand and protect our underwater world. For in the end, the ocean’s health is our health, and every creature within it, including the sharks, plays a crucial role in maintaining this delicate balance.

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The Ocean Cleanup & Coldplay announce limited edition LP made using river plastic

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  • Limited ‘Notebook Edition’ LP release of new Coldplay album ‘Moon Music’ made using river plastic removed from the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala by The Ocean Cleanup

  • First collaborative product the latest step in Coldplay’s support for global non-profit

  • Innovative product partnerships essential for long-term success of The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to rid the oceans of plastic

The Ocean Cleanup and Coldplay have confirmed that a limited ‘Notebook Edition’ LP release of the band’s album ‘Moon Music’ will be manufactured using plastic intercepted by The Ocean Cleanup from the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala.

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this, the non-profit operates a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy plastic in the oceans and deploying Interceptors to capture trash in rivers and stop it entering the oceans.

Today’s announcement with Coldplay of this Notebook Edition LP is an example of the innovative product partnerships The Ocean Cleanup creates to give this plastic a new life in sustainable and durable products, ensuring the plastic never re-enters the marine environment.

coldplay

The Ocean Cleanup project deployed Interceptor 006 in the Rio Las Vacas in 2023 to prevent plastic emissions into the Gulf of Honduras. Interceptor 006 made significant impact and captured large quantities of plastic – which has now been sorted, blended, tested and used to manufacture Coldplay’s limited edition physical release. The final product consists of 70% river plastic intercepted by The Ocean Cleanup and 30% recycled waste plastic bottles from other sources.The successful production of the Notebook Edition LP using intercepted river plastic marks an exciting new phase in Coldplay’s broad and long-standing support for The Ocean Cleanup. Coldplay provide financial support for the non-profit’s cleaning operations, sponsor Interceptor 005 in the Klang River, Malaysia (which the band named ‘Neon Moon I’) and share The Ocean Cleanup’s mission with millions of their fans during their record-breaking Music of the Spheres tour.Coldplay and The Ocean Cleanup collaborated closely during the intensive testing and quality control process, alongside processing and manufacturing partners Biosfera GT, Compuestos y Derivados S.A., Morssinkhof and Sonopress.Having proven the potential of their partnership, The Ocean Cleanup and Coldplay will continue to explore new and innovative ways to combine their impact and accelerate progress in the largest cleanup in history.

coldplay

“Coldplay is an incredible partner for us and I’m thrilled that our plastic catch has helped bring Moon Music to life.” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “Ensuring the plastic we catch never re-enters the marine environment is essential to our mission, and I’m excited to see how we’ll continue innovating with Coldplay and our other partners to rid the oceans of plastic – together.”

coldplay

About the Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit that develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal through a dual strategy: intercepting in rivers to stop the flow and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup develops and deploys large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked and traced to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To curb the tide via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ Solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. As of June 2024, the non-profit has collected over 12 million kilograms (26.4 million pounds) of plastic from aquatic ecosystems around the world. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 140. 

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