Superyacht community asked to finance protecting the ocean

Water Revolution Foundation, the non-profit which aims to drive sustainability in the superyacht industry, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its first endorsed ocean conservation project, the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme. The programme aims to identify the most important marine habitats for marine mammals and prioritise them for conservation actions.

Water Revolution Foundation is 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’s oceans and identify the most important habitats for whales, dolphins and other marine mammals,” says Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, co-chair of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 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.”

With 159 IMMAs already established across the Southern Hemisphere, the IUCN task force is looking to the Northern Hemisphere. Water Revolution Foundation is raising funds for the North Atlantic Ocean to be mapped.

“This is a popular route for superyachts crossing between the Mediterranean and Caribbean so we, as a community, have a strong connection to this region,” says Robert van Tol, executive director of foundation. “Identifying IMMAs in the North Atlantic Ocean will cost €550,000, with the money directly funding the collaborating scientists across the region whose work will make the identification of the IMMAs possible. Once identified, these IMMAs will be ripe for species conservation and effective marine management, under the spotlight of an informed public.”

“It’s time we made the oceans a key stakeholder of our industry. We need to shift from viewing ocean conservation as philanthropy to understanding that it is an investment,” says van Tol. Alongside industry companies and professionals, superyacht owners and charterers are also encouraged to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign.

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