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Friday, August 15, 2014

Seven Swims In The Seven Seas - 1 Reason, 2 Down

First-person report below is courtesy of Lewis Pugh who is en route to completing Seven Swims In The Seven Seas For 1 Reason during the month of August: 10 km in the Mediterranean Sea in Monte Carlo, Monaco in 3 hours 33 minutes, 10 km in the Adriatic Sea in Zadar, Croatia in 3 hours 55 minutes, 10 km in the Aegean Sea in Athens, Greece, 40 km in the Black Sea in Istanbul, Turkey, 15 km in the Red Sea in Aqaba, Jordan, 10 km in the Arabian Sea in Rass Al Hadd, Oman, and a 100 km stage swim in the North Sea ending in London, United Kingdom.

Photos are courtesy of Kelvin Trautman.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu came to the launch of our campaign. He reminded me that many of the conflicts around the world are over limited resources. He said “Lewis, when we damage our environment, we create conditions ripe for conflict, but when we protect our environment, we bring peace.”

My first swim [shown above] was in the Mediterranean off Monaco. It’s one of the most overfished seas in the world. Over 90% of bottom living fish are now over exploited. And mid-water fish are in trouble too, with 70% being over-exploited. We are urging countries to set aside at least 10% of the oceans as a properly managed Marine Protected Area. Currently less than 3% of the world’s oceans are protected.

When you swim past a cruise ship - don’t delay...

Prince Albert II was there to meet us on the beach at the end. He’s been very vocal on the need, and benefit of, more Marine Protected Areas. Monaco has set the example - it has set aside the whole of its waters as a Marine Protected Area.

My second swim was in the Adriatic along the Dalmatian Coast. What stuck me was how few fish I saw. The biggest fish I saw were the size of my hand. It’s tragic.

There are lots of fish farms along the Adriatic. I’m not convinced they're the solution to food security. On the contrary, 1kg of farmed tuna requires 10kg of sardines / mackerel. The tuna are fattened up and flow off to the Far East. We are feeding the rich, not the hungry.

We’ve had a wonderful response everywhere. On Tuesday lots of children in Zadar, Croatia came to swim with us and share our message.

The message and campaign are focused on the creation of more Marine Protected Areas (national parks in the seas).

I’ve now completed the first two swims - in the Mediterranean and the Aegean. We’ve had lots of media coverage on the issues we are raising - the impact of overfishing, pollution and climate change on our seas. I have 5 more swims to go

Today we arrived in the Aegean Sea.

Additional articles on the Seven Swims In The Seven Seas For 1 Reason are here:

* MPA: Marvelously Productive Activity, 7 Swims In 7 Seas
* Seven Swims In The Seven Seas - 1 Reason, 1 Down
* Seven Swims In The Seven Seas - 1 Reason, 6 Down
* Seven Swims In The Seven Seas For 1 Reason
* The Ancient Seven Seas And 1 Modern Mariner
* The Heavy Demands On Land Along The Seven Seas
* Going Solo Needs Teamwork
* The Sights And Sounds And Swims Of The Seven Seas
* Marine Life Nowhere To Be Seen
* 20 People Who Uplifted Open Water Swimming

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