It was a Russian journalist who first coined the phrase 'Speedo Diplomacy' to describe what I do. It's not just a catchy phrase; that journalist understood that my mission had moved beyond high profile swims to draw attention to vulnerable ecosystems – the Speedo part – and now had to do with direct engagement with the people and the powers that can make things happen.
Our recent successes include preventing fracking in the fragile Karoo region (a long way from the ocean, admittedly, but very much about protecting precious water resources). We persuaded multinational companies to desist from sponsoring competitive Shark hunts, which add to the decimation of an apex species. We convinced the Government of Gibraltar to abandon their annual practice of releasing tens of thousand of polluting balloons over their, and their neighbours', oceans. I was all but overwhelmed by the task at hand when I joined the dedicated team of citizen activists who initiated the world's biggest beach clean-up, in Mumbai.
But the campaign I am most proud of is the one that has consumed the last three years of my life, and promises to continue to do so until 2020. It's all about Antarctica, and protecting the world's last pristine ocean wildernesses.
We were thrilled at our first success - the declaration of a Marine Protected Area in the Ross Sea. But we're not stopping there. Our Antarctica 2020 Campaign is about expanding that protection with three more MPAs, so that the entire protected area is bigger than the continent of Australia! Come join us ...
To inspire people around the world to protect and preserve our oceans,
and all that live in them, for a peaceful and sustainable future.