Seven swims - seven seas - one reason

Posted on 07 August 2014  | 
boats on rocks
Boats at the Black Sea Coast in Strandzha Nature Park in Bulgaria
© WWF/Michael GuntherEnlarge
Renowned endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh - UNEP Patron of the Oceans and WWF UK Ambassador -  is swimming into seven seas with one purpose: to put Marine Protected Areas on the global agenda.

He will become the first person to undertake a long distance swim in each of the seven seas: the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Arabian and North Seas.

These seas are amongst the most polluted and overfished in the world and Lewis Pugh’s campaign, Seven Swims in the Seven Seas for 1 Reason, will highlight the need for urgent action

He will swim the Black Sea, from 17 to 19 August, from Istanbul, Turkey. "We applaud Lewis Pugh's expedition" says Marina Gomei, Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Officer at WWF. "MPAs safeguard the amazing marine life, protect fishermen's livelihoods, boost local economies and help tourists discover one of our planet's most stunning treasures".

Almost entirely enclosed by land, the Black Sea is especially vulnerable to pollution from its shores, rivers and visiting ships. The dramatic explosion of comb jelly populations here visibly demonstrates the devastating impacts of ballast water pollution on an ecosystem, which has no natural defence against this invasive species.

Better regulation of pollution is helping the Black Sea recover from the ecological collapse it suffered in the 1990s, but it remains poorly protected through MPAs. Lewis’s swim here will highlight the need for greater protection, especially in the north, east and south of the Black Sea.
boats on rocks
Boats at the Black Sea Coast in Strandzha Nature Park in Bulgaria
© WWF/Michael Gunther Enlarge
Clean up 0 km
WWF Clean up action at km 0 in the Ukrainian Danube Delta, where the river flows into the Black Sea
© Kateryne Kurakina Enlarge

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