Lewis Pugh On Preserving The Health Of Our Oceans

Lewis Pugh On Preserving The Health Of Our Oceans

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Lewis Pugh talked frankly about the health and welfare of our oceans during his ever-focused, ongoing campaign to help improve our environment.

Pugh, who has pushed the threshold of swimming in extreme conditions, shared these thoughts with feature writer Jim Harper who penned an upcoming cover story for U.S. Masters Swimming SWIMMER Magazine:

Jim Harper: What are the top three threats to healthy oceans today?

Lewis Pugh: I would certainly put climate change at the top of the list. It impacts our oceans in so many ways. For example it is warming our oceans, melting the polar ice, rising the level of the sea, increasing the acidity of the water and bleaching the coral reefs etc.

Then I would put over fishing as second. Almost every sea has been over fished – and the stocks of a number of fish species have collapsed. Finally, a number of local areas have been seriously damaged by environmental disasters – such as Prince William Sound in Alaska (after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989), the Gulf of Mexico (when BP’s oil rig blew up in 2010) and the east coast of Japan (following the recent meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power station in 2012).


Jim Harper: What have your swims taught you about the ocean?

Lewis Pugh: The world’s oceans are vast – but their resources are limited. I have visited every ocean – and everywhere I see the impact of man – even in places far away from man such as the Arctic Ocean. I now undertake swims in these ecosystems to draw attention to their vulnerability and call for their protection.

Jim Harper: Why should pool based swimmers care about the ocean?

Lewis Pugh: Well, if we not take care of our oceans – our children will live in a very different world to that which we currently live. It will be an unsustainable world.

Jim Harper: What are the top three things that someone can do to help with these problems?

Lewis Pugh: I recommend swimmers go to the Oceana website. Oceana is an environmental NGO, which focuses on ocean protection. They are doing great work. They have a list of ten simple things we can all do to save our oceans. They range from eating sustainable seafood to reducing our energy consumption and ensuring plastic does not get into our oceans. Have a look – it will make a difference.

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