Today marks World Ocean Day, a day when the sustainable management of our world’s oceans is in the spotlight. Today also marks the launch of our ocean conservation programme with a crowdfunding campaign for our first endorsed project: the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme.
The IMMA programme aims to support the restoration of the balance of life in the ocean by identifying the most important marine habitats for marine mammals and prioritising them for conservation actions. We’re taking on a guiding role, connecting the superyacht industry with the scientific community, and are now calling upon the superyacht community to support the IMMA programme to protect the health of the ocean.
“The objective of the IMMA programme is to map the world ocean and identify the most important habitats for whales, dolphins and other marine mammals,” said Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, co-chair of the IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas. “If we don’t know the most important places where whales, dolphins, seals, manatees live in the ocean, we can’t protect them.” Since marine mammals, particularly whales, play a key role in the health of the ocean and the planet, protecting them is of vital importance.
Whales, dolphins and porpoises are iconic marine species that we now know play important roles in ocean life. Not only is there something of wonder, beauty and awe when we see them out on the ocean, but they are also an important part of how our ocean, and our world, works. When whales reach the end of their lives, their sinking bodies put a huge amount of carbon directly into the deep ocean where it can be locked away. During their daily lives they also fertilize the surface waters where they feed mix the waters, as well as fertilising them, creating healthy habitats for phytoplankton – microscopic organisms responsible for creating as much oxygen and absorbing as much CO2 as all forests and grasslands combined. “Put simply, we need to protect whales to protect the ocean’s ability to negate the effects of climate change. This is a nature-based solution for a healthier planet,” said Vienna Eleuteri, initiator and vice-chair of Water Revolution Foundation.
Our crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity for the superyacht community – companies, professionals, owners and charterers alike – to take on a stewardship role of the oceans. Collectively, we can support the important work of the IMMA programme and help protect our oceans.