Lewis Pugh completes Aegean swim in Seven Seas Campaign
Renowned endurance swimmer and United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh has today completed the third leg of his Seven Swims in the Seven Seas for 1 Reason campaign to highlight the need for, and importance of Marine Protected Areas on the global agenda.
Lewis completed his 10km swim off Pireaus Harbour in Athens, Greece in 3 hrs and 12 mins.
Immediately afterwards Lewis said: “What struck me was how much pollution I saw on the sea bed – cans, plastic packets, bottles, shoes, boats and even tyres. It’s such a poor reflection on us. Whatever we do to nature is ultimately something we are doing to our deepest selves. I urge everyone to keep our beaches and oceans clean.”
Lewis will make his next journey to Istanbul, Turkey where he will undertake a 40km swim in the Black Sea.
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 highlights the need for greater protection, especially in the north, east and south of the Black Sea.