SH Vega: Signing Ceremony for Healthy Oceans

A major agreement to restore our oceans and waters by 2030 was signed onboard Swan Hellenic’s expedition cruise ship SH Vega. Swan Hellenic, the Philippe Cousteau Foundation and SDG4MED agreed to sign and contribute to this EU mission with a commitment to work together.

Already by the end of 2021, the European Parliament and the EU Council have mandated the Commission to accelerate action to conserve and restore the health of the world’s oceans and waters. This EU mission is therefore a coordinated effort to bring together the financial, scientific and operational resources needed to achieve a 30 percent reduction in marine micro-plastics and the creation of a blue, circular, zero-emissions economy. Indeed, oceans are important carbon sinks, protect biodiversity and support economic prosperity.

All three organizations have already made their individual commitments in the Charter of Missions: the Philippe Cousteau Foundation promotes ocean literacy in schools and among fishermen and seafarers; SDG4MED makes the “LIFE4MEDECA Knowledge Center” available to communities to promote and incentivize a common action plan; and Swan Hellenic Cruise Line continuously invests in the latest green technologies and operations.

This initiative to restore marine biodiversity and reduce marine emissions was praised by the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, who was pleased to see the Foundation and his country involved in this momentous agreement.

Among other things, Swan Hellenic commits to making its fleet available to the Foundation’s scientists to assess the health of our blue planet, particularly in the Arctic, Antarctic and African coasts, where the fleet is present for several months of the year.

Andrea Zito, CEO of Swan Hellenic, said: “These values are embedded in our DNA. All Swan Hellenic ships are equipped with the latest green technologies. We have also increased the elimination of single-use plastics onboard, supported by the availability of the supply chain in remote areas.”

Mario Dogliani, President of SDG4MED, said: “Acting together will greatly amplify the results we can achieve with our efforts. This partnership gives us a critical tool to collect data on ocean health, with a scale and ubiquity of data that was previously unimaginable.”

Rafael Lobeto Lobo, Secretary General of the Philippe Cousteau Foundation, said: “Life on Earth depends on the health of the interconnected system of oceans, seas and inland waters that cover about 75 percent of the Earth’s surface. But human-induced changes are putting our oceans and waters at serious risk, with pollution and global warming causing loss of biodiversity and extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves.”

Indeed, the new partnership was born out of the realization that their individual initiatives, however laudable, were not enough. “Oceans are like people”, said Andrea Zito, “and having a complete picture of health parameters allows for effective medical treatment.”

Stay tuned for updates on this mission and don’t miss out on the latest happenings and news on Cruising Journal.

Lucia Angeli