With the future of healthy seas and oceans at risk, Britain's biggest boat builder has set out to launch its first campaign titled 'Project Menorca' which will focus on the island's marine environment.
Menorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993 however, the island still faces increased pressure from unregulated fishing, tourism and pollution, while the current marine protection scheme is proving ineffective.
Working closely with BLUE, a UK-based charity dedicated to creating marine reserves, the new partnership will establish a recognised model of conservation, supported by local partners on the island including the Menorca Preservation Fund.
Project Menorca will support local fisheries in creating a model of sustainable fishing, establish a network of 'eco-moorings' to preserve seagrass beds, protect marine reserves by removing plastics and 'ghost' fishing nets, distribute recyclable bags across the island and recruit on-water rangers for various marine monitoring programmes.
This challenge presents an ideal opportunity to make a tangible difference in protecting Menorca's marine environment and Sunseeker aims to widen the programme worldwide. Boaters of any brand are encouraged to learn more about the project by visiting www.sunseeker.com/blue where a donation link can be found.
Sunseeker will also be supporting BLUE's virtual Blue Marine Yacht Club (BMYC). Launched in 2012 by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the BYMC was formed to unite the global yachting community in a clear mission to protect our oceans.
Sunseeker fully endorses the BMYC and offers three levels of membership with all revenue raised going directly to supporting BLUE's work in Menorca. Dependent on the membership level, donors will be given the unique opportunity of having a guided tour of the Menorca project first-hand or at the highest level, naming rights to this or other projects.
BMYC has also developed its own eight-point 'Charter' which makes simple observations about how to reduce the impact of boating with very little effort whilst supporting biodiversity and hence its sustainability. The code of conduct, which is promoted by Sunseeker, includes information on topics such as reducing damage from anchoring and mooring, stopping marine pollution, the recognition of protected areas, as well as diving and snorkelling best practice.
Commenting on the launch of Project Menorca, CEO of Sunseeker International, Phil Popham said: "We are passionate about the marine environment worldwide. Our luxury yachts have been crafted so that Sunseeker owners can enjoy them to their fullest potential, wherever they may be. We strive to be global leaders in all that we do and it's important to us that we also do our part to help protect one of our most valuable resources, so that we – and future generations – can all continue to enjoy our precious time on the water. Our partnership with BLUE provides this focus and will lead to other projects worldwide.
He continues: "We recognise that there has been a real awakening in the leisure marine industry to be even more responsible and we have been at the forefront of this by encouraging everyone to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of our seas. By utilising the generosity and very unique qualities of the entire leisure marine industry including yacht owners from all brands, our dealers, suppliers and employees, we will be able to help reverse this dramatic decline."
Clare Brook, CEO of Blue Marine Foundation, added: "Sunseeker's inspirational and generous support will enable BLUE to enhance existing marine protection and establish new marine reserves around Menorca. Menorca's waters are home to rare grouper, sharks, dolphins, whales, octopus and lobster. Tuna migrate to the area to reproduce and coastal seagrass beds shelter juvenile fish. These marine meadows also trap 35x more carbon than terrestrial forests. We hope that, through this partnership, Sunseeker and its supporters – people who really love and understand the sea – will be able to enjoy its unspoiled beauty for centuries to come."
With the launch of Project Menorca, Sunseeker is encouraging everyone to think about how they can help protect our most valuable resource. For more information on the project and to find out how you can help the cause, visit: https://www.sunseeker.com/en-GB/project-menorca/.