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UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh nominated for 2015 Observer Ethical Awards as “Campaigner of the Year”

Lewis Pugh, endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans, has been nominated for the 2015 Observer Ethical Awards as “Campaigner of the Year”. This category recognises the public-facing campaigner who has made the biggest difference to Observer readers, and put ethical issues on the global agenda.

One of the world’s leading inspirational speakers, Lewis is a tireless campaigner for the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA). Most recently, he put his life on the line with a series of swims in Antarctica, and is now working to break the political deadlock preventing the creation of the world’s biggest MPA in the Ross Sea. According to the Observer, “His endeavours have already captured the hearts of the Russian public leading him to coin the term speedo diplomacy.”

Other nominees include Leonardo DiCaprio, Mary Robinson and Emma Watson.

Click here to vote!

For more information on how to book Lewis Pugh as a speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ocean advocate and adventurer Hanli Prinsloo visits Cocos Island to promote shark understanding and protection

Hanli Prinsloo, ocean adventurer and world champion freediver, took a trip to Cocos Island to promote shark understanding and protection.

Hanli Prinsloo - Tiger Shark

The purpose of this trip was to address the decision makers in Costa Rica, who have allowed for an exception to the law against fishing for sharks. Costa Rican authorities claim that if sharks were a bycatch – including in the marine reserve of the Cocos Island, a hotspot for amazing shark diversity – they could be legally exported (shark fin soup is seen as status enriching in China).

Hanli Prinsloo - Seagull

However, conservationists warn that allowing exceptions to what should be tight restrictions on the shark fin trade, boosts that temptation. Furthermore, CITES mentions bycatch as one of the top threats to hammerhead shark populations worldwide. In response to this law exception, Hanli and her team have gone to explore, document and share stories from a magnificent underwater wilderness, and put shark protection back on the agenda.

Click here to read her full blog post, or watch Hanli discuss this further on News24 (above).

For more information on how to book Hanli Prinsloo as a speaker for your conference or client event, please get in touch with Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call on +44 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ocean advocate Lewis Pugh swam with icebergs to call for a marine protected area in Antarctica

Lewis Pugh, Patron of the Oceans for the United Nations, has completed five Antarctic swims intended to jolt Russia into backing his call for a giant marine protected area (MPA) encompassing the entire Ross Sea. The trouble is, Russia has vetoed the idea for each of the past four years.

Whale Tail

In the stretch of sea nearest to the South Pole where the air temperature was minus 37C, and dressed solely in a pair of swimming trunks, Lewis explains that the water he was jumping into “is so dense because it’s about to freeze.” Salt water freezes at minus 1.8C. It was minus 1C when he got in.

The idea was to swim a kilometre – “a proper symbolic swim” – but immediately he could see the water freezing on his arms as he lifted them for each stroke: “I get to 330 metres and I realise if I carry on any longer I’m actually going to lose my hands right here.” It took an hour in a hot water shower to get his core body temperature back up to normal.

Lewis Pugh post-Ross Sea swim - Photo from

When his cruise ship docked in Argentina, he flew immediately to Moscow to press the case for a Ross Sea protection area. He gave a packed press conference, and met with Sergei Shoigu, defence minister and head of the Russian Geographical Society, who Lewis says was warm and receptive. To the point that Russia might not veto a Ross Sea MPA for the fifth year in a row? “I’m hoping they’re not going to.”

Click here to read the full article.

For more information on how to book Lewis Pugh as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Pioneering swimmer and ocean advocate Lewis Pugh to undertake “world’s most dangerous swim” in Antarctica

Lewis Pugh speakerAs a follow-up to his successful Seven Swims In The Seven Seas For 1 Reason  a summer time series of marathon swims in the warm waters of the Seven Ancient Seas – Lewis Pugh, Patron of the Oceans for the United Nations, is heading to the bottom of the planet to do another series of unprecedented swims.

The purpose of The Five Swims in Antarctica for 1 Reason is to have Antarctica’s Ross Sea declared a Marine Protected Area (MPA). The Ross Sea is one of the most incredible and diverse areas left on earth; Lewis describes it as “a polar Garden of Eden.” However, it is tragically now threatened by overfishing and climate change.

His extremely tough 1 km swims are in waters between -1.7ºC and 0ºC (28.9ºF and 32ºF), where he may encounter orcas, leopard seals and colossal squid. Three of the swims will be the most southern ever undertaken. If you look at the map below, you will see there is no water any further south.

Lewis Pugh - Antarctica Swim

Afterwards, Lewis will be going to Russia to meet President Putin to encourage him to back this Marine Protected Area (Russia is currently chair of the organisation responsible for setting up protected areas in Antarctica). Follow Lewis on Twitter for live updates.

For more information on how to book Lewis Pugh as a keynote speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

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