Healthy Seas works in partnership with Ghost Fishing, a group of divers who remove marine litter from the oceans and seas, with a focus on discarded fishing nets that can harm marine life. The funding will support their ‘Journey from Waste to Wear’ initiative, turning the collected fishing nets into textile products such as socks, swimwear and carpets used in Volvo Cars.
Every year 640,000 tons of fishing gear is abandoned in the oceans. So far the group has removed 375 tons of fishing nets in five years, not only getting rid of marine debris, but also freeing fish and crustaceans, and preventing the death of marine mammals and sea turtles.
Alongside an education programme that goes into schools to teach children about marine pollution, they also work with fisherman to prevent unwanted old nets being discarded in the sea or sent to landfill.
“Thanks to the generous donation from 11th Hour Racing we will be able to organize about seven diving trips which will allow us to remove approximately 2.1 tons of ghost gear from the seas. We can’t save the world alone, but by doing something good we hope to inspire others to follow,” said Veronika Mikos, Project Coordinator of Healthy Seas. “According to a recent report, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. We all have to work hard against it, not to let it happen.”
This is the final and twelfth grant awarded by 11th Hour Racing during the Volvo Ocean Race, with the team choosing a local environmental issue to focus on at each host city.
“It’s been fascinating and an honor to meet with so many different NGOs from around the world and learn about what affects their local communities,” said Mark Towill, Team Director, Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “It’s been inspiring to see how many individuals are truly passionate about improving the health of the oceans that we crossed as we’ve sailed around the globe. We are incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished as a team in raising awareness about specific environmental issues to millions of fans and followers, leveraging the high visibility of this fantastic race.”
"It's been an honour to learn about the work of each of the 12 organizations we've supported as the team has sailed around the world," said Rob MacMillian, Co-Founder, and Advisor, 11th Hour Racing. “So much of our partnership with the team is about impact and creating positive change, and this grant project has provided a unique legacy that will carry our messages far into the future.”
11th Hour Racing are also working in partnership with Bluewater on Imagine H2O 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge, designed to address urban drinking water scarcity challenges.
A diverse list of over 100 ‘waterpreneurs’ from around the world have registered for Imagine H2O’s 2018 Urban Drinking Water Scarcity Challenge.
The Challenge offers a financial commitment up to a total USD1 million in awards and potential deployment follow-on investment.
Of the 100+ registered startups in the Challenge so far, 48 percent are from North America, 20 percent from Africa, 16 percent from Europe and 11 percent from Asia. The top five countries are in the following order: USA, Canada, India, UK and Uganda.
A specific Asia track supported by Enterprise Singapore will offer additionally deployment grants to Challenge winners working in Southeast Asia.