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Gulf Craft announces commitment to IMMA conservation programme

Water Revolution Foundation and the Important Marine Mammal Areas Programme (IMMA) gain further shipyard support…

Gulf Craft announces its support of the Water Revolution Foundation and the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) Programme. Presented to the superyacht industry in June 2021, it has been framed as the first superyacht crowdfunding campaign to protect the oceans. Gulf Craft has joined a group of other shipyards in supporting the yacht builders  GT based re-investment programme for ocean conservationSo far over €50,000 Euros has been raised towards a target of €550,000. 

The continued mission of Water Revolution Foundation is to identify and support truly impactful and innovative marine conservation projects. The support of Gulf Craft further underlines the industry's engagement with scientifically rigorous conservation plans. “This programme will deliver a new path to nurturing both ocean and human vitality through transformative marine ecosystem conservation projects at scale,” said Vienna Eleuteri, initiator and vice-chair of Water Revolution Foundation at the time of the launch, continuing: “By doing so, we are connecting an entire business sector to the scientific community and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

“The yachting sector is currently doing very well, unfortunately we cannot say that about our beloved oceans. For a sustainable future, we have to ensure the relationship with the oceans is not one-way. Therefore we should see ocean conservation as investment, not as philanthropy.” Robert van Tol, executive director, Water Revolution Foundation

“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 (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.” Since marine mammals, particularly whales, play a crucial role in the health of the ocean and the planet, protecting them is vital.

As mentioned by di Sciara, the importance of marine mammals in the health of marine ecosystems is hard to overstate, and their influence on phytoplankton, and in turn the ability of the ocean to store carbon, is fundamental to mitigating the effects of climate change. The ability of large marine mammals to fertilise and circulate nutrients in the ocean is also fundamental to the marine ecosystem system. Many marine mammals are keystone species, as they facilitate the flourishing of myriad other species. The way large marine mammals circulate nutrients, known as the 'whale pump', creates healthy habitats for phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that generate as much oxygen and absorb as much carbon dioxide as all of the worlds forests and grasslands combined. Many whales themselves act as a carbon sink when they die and sink, and these ‘whale falls’, in turn, provide another self-sustaining ecosystem on the seafloor.

In a statement to the media, Gulf Craft Chairman Mohammed Hussein Alshaali added:  “Conserving the marine environment is the responsibility of every stakeholder, and we are strongly committed to initiatives that will help protect the habitats for marine mammals. This contributes to the future of the marine environment and reflects our social responsibility. The joy of exploring the high seas is to take delight into the exotic sightings of marine mammals, and protecting their habitats must be given top priority.”

“Since its inception, The Water Revolution Foundation has provided the superyacht industry with tools, knowledge and best practices to mitigate the ecological footprint and to promote the conservation of oceans.” Continued Chairman Mohammed Hussein Alshaali, adding, “We are an environmentally and socially responsible institution, and we will continue to explore all opportunities to partner in the global effort to conserve our marine environment for future generations.”

For more information about Water Revolution Foundation, the IMMA project and how to become an ocean conservation partner, click here

Image credit main: Water Revolution Foundation

Image credit slider: Gulf Craft

 

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