The captain and owner of M/Y Awatea are joining forces with a number of superyacht companies to organise an environmental event in Barcelona. Evolution Yachts, MB92, Y.CO, OneOcean Port Vell, alongside The YachtCrew Environmental Society and ocean advocate Emily Penn, are to host superyacht crew for the day.
The event, which includes a beach clean-up and a ‘waste art’ creation session, is spearheaded by M/Y Awatea as part of the yacht’s ongoing commitment to encourage the industry to take responsibility for its ecological impact. Captain Micheal Duncker, speaking to SuperyachtNews, explains that he sees this as an opportunity for all levels of crew to get involved in looking after the environment in which they work. “It shouldn’t just be a hierarchy-based programme," he says. "All crew should see that they can have a voice and can start something themselves to help us in safeguarding the environment.”
Duncker explains that he and the owner of M/Y Awatea were inspired to get involved in the Y.CO #Clearwater campaign after hearing Penn speak about the importance of combatting the rise of pollution in our oceans. Hatty Campbell, business development manager for Y.CO, explains that this is the core reason they began the campaign in 2017. “By educating yacht owners and their crew, we hope to help spread the word to those who are in a position to have real influence to make changes on a global scale,” she offers.
“By educating yacht owners and their crew we hope to help spread the word to those who are in a position to have real influence to make changes on a global scale.” - Hatty Campbell, Y.CO
The agenda for the day includes a workshop, led by Penn, to teach crew the small ways to change their behaviour and consumption of plastics. As Campbell explains, “The outcome of the event will raise awareness regarding the danger of single use plastic. We hope to change the mindset of yacht crew – and the industry as a whole – and inspire them to educate those around them.” There will also be a prize giving ceremony for the best work of art created from the rubbish collected during the beach clean-up.
The event, which takes place in Barcelona on April 3, is open to all crew currently based in the region. As a prominent shipyard in the area, MB92 were keen to get involved to demonstrate that anyone can help with environmental initiatives on a local level. “Global issues such as this can often seem daunting to someone wishing to affect change so it is a great opportunity for someone wanting to get involved and contribute to the cause,” believes customer care manager, Marina Peyrard. Furthermore, crew will be able to see the immediate impact of a beach clean-up in their local area; it is a tangible way to see the way that pollutants damage an environment. “Our hope that this event continues to galvanise this message and helps to catalyse positive action among the attendees and the wider superyacht community,” she adds.
“Our hope that this event continues to galvanise this message and helps to catalyse positive action among the attendees and the wider superyacht community.” - Marina Peyrard, MB92
Echoing this view, many of the companies supporting the event form a core part of the yachting industry in Barcelona. “We hope that in the least we get plastic pollution as a talked about topic in the Barcelona yachting community,” explains Kerry Allerton of Evolution Yacht Agents. “Great things start from small ideas and yacht crew are for the most part mobilised, reactive and dynamic citizens of the world, we just need to bring this issue to the foreground and get people thinking.” The inherent nature of crew travelling around the world means that, even though this beach clean-up is in Barcelona, the attitudes and methodologies that are showcased there can be spread wherever the crew cruise in the future.
Allerton believes that if younger yacht crew are educated about the ways to reduce pollution now, it will become second-nature. “The yacht crew of today are the captains and project managers of tomorrow. If we start with small initiatives today, there is a higher chance that more sophisticated solutions to avoid or eliminate waste in a harmless way are conceived and implemented as integral parts of a yacht´s operating system.”
“For all of us within the industry as well as the communities in which we live and work, the ocean is our passion,” adds Peyrard. “We have a responsibility for ensuring that the next generations have the opportunity to enjoy the ocean as we do. Locally, the community in Barcelona have undertaken initiatives by working more closely together to implement change. However, further afield, the broader superyacht industry needs to be a vanguard for reform.”
It’s a hugely positive sign that so many yachting companies are joining together to raise awareness and educate crew about simple changes that have a big impact. For Captain Duncker, this collaboration showcases the importance of every facet of the yachting industry working together to alleviate the problem of pollution. “We have all found a common goal, and removed all egos, and discussed that this is to benefit everyone for generations to come.” This educational event is a great example of superyacht companies working with yachts and crew to ensure that the conversation about conservation continues to grow. As Allerton concludes, “Awareness is key and it is these kinds of events that are needed to plant seeds in the creative minds of the upcoming yachting generation.”
“We have all found a common goal, and removed all egos, and discussed that this is to benefit everyone for generations to come.” - Captain Micheal Duncker, M/Y 'Awatea'
To RSVP for the event, please contact Kerry Allerton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t miss Emily Penn’s guest column in the latest issue of The Superyacht Report. To find out if you’re eligible for a complimentary VIP subscription, see the details below.
Image: Emily Penn, courtesy of Emily Penn.
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