Renowned endurance swimmer and United Nation’s Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh completed the second 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 along the outside of Dugi Otok, an island off Zadar, Croatia in 3 hrs and 55 mins (see attached picture).
Immediately afterwards Lewis said: The conditions were perfect. The sea was flat and warm. The 10km swim took longer than expected, but what struck me was how few fish I saw. The only fish I saw during the whole swim were very small – less than a hand length in size.”
Follow Lewis’s progress via his website, www.lewispugh.com Twitter @LewisPugh #7Seas and Facebook – Lewis Pugh.
Lewis will make his next journey to Athens, Greece where he will undertake a 10km swim in the Aegean Sea.
The Mediterranean Monk Seal was once plentiful in the Aegean Sea, but after years of being deliberately shot and accidentally killed in fishing gear, numbers in Greece have plummeted to around 200 animals – around half the remaining world population. This makes it one of the most endangered mammals in the world.
The Monk Seal’s timid nature means that even slight disturbances can displace it from its last few breeding sites.
Lewis’s swim off Athens, Greece, draws attention to the plight of an animal on the brink of extinction, and calls for better co-operation and strictly protected MPAs, especially in Gyaros, to enable recovery of this gentle species.
For further information, interviews and pictures throughout Lewis’s journey please contact Louise Plank or Victoria Hartley-Wilson at Plank PR, +44 20 8995 3936.
Photo: (c) Kelvin Trautman