Prince Albert of Monaco welcomes finalists of ocean conservation fund raising bike ride
Prince Albert of Monaco has welcomed cyclists over the finish line as they end their journey from London to Monaco as part of a charity bike ride in aid of ocean conservation.
Over 50 cyclcists took part, including F1 Personality and TV Presenter Eddie Jordan, cycling over 1500km in aid of Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) – the UK-based marine conservation charity.
The money raised will help BLUE achieve its aim of protecting vast tracts of the world’s oceans. BLUE exists to combat over-fishing and the destruction of biodiversity – arguably the largest problem facing the world’s oceans – by creating large-scale marine reserves and developing models of sustainable fishing.
Prince Albert, who is the Founding Patron of the Blue Marine Yacht Club, said: “Oceans are more than ever at the heart of our common future. Although they are subjected to sustained pressures, they also offer infinite solutions and unparalleled opportunities, whether of an ecological or economic nature, energy or food related. Since 2012, my foundation and the Blue Marine Foundation have made an important unified commitment to help protect the world’s oceans, with a number of joint initiatives focused on the protection and management of the marine environment. The first London to Monaco Cycle Ride is therefore a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness on the necessity to protect our fragile oceans.”
Funds raised from the ride will go towards two specific projects that will contribute significantly to ocean protection. The first, in the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, will address over-fishing and irresponsible tourism, and protect endangered marine species such as sperm whales and dolphins. The second is in the remote island of Ascension in the tropical Atlantic – home to extraordinary biodiversity including sharks, turtles and rare sea birds. Half of Ascension’s waters were closed to industrial fishing at the beginning of the year, but the Ascension islanders need to develop other sources of income on the island, particularly science and eco-tourism, so that more of the island’s waters (which cover an area nearly twice the size of the UK) can become a haven for the wonderful marine life to be found there.
The event was orchestrated by super-yacht design company Winch Design. The aim was to raise half a million pounds for BLUE and their ocean conservation efforts.
Andrew Winch, commented, “I’m passionate about the oceans and know that we must ensure the future of our seas. As a great supporter of Blue Marine Foundation, I wanted to make a real contribution to their wonderful work in celebration of our thirtieth year in business. The entire team at Winch design is inspired to do their bit to help and I hope people within our industry will get behind this event to show their support for BLUE and do their bit for the environment.”
The challenge was launched in London on by BLUE ambassador Simon Le Bon who is famous for his time in the band Duran Duran.
“Over the years, people have waded in mud, paddle boarded The Channel, and been photographed naked with fish to help us protect the oceans. Cycling from London to Monaco is the next exciting challenge and we are immensely grateful to all cyclists taking part for the real difference their efforts will make in saving our seas.” added CEO of BLUE Clare Brook.