South Africa

Sarah Ferguson to swim from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of the devastating impact of plastic pollution

Through Tanya waterworth 52 m ago

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Durban – Ultra swimmer Sarah Ferguson takes on her toughest challenge yet – a 1,500km swim along the coast from Durban to Cape Town.

As the driving force behind the Breathe Conservation Conservation Platform, Ferguson is focused on raising public awareness of the devastating impact plastic pollution in the oceans and rivers has on our planet.

Ferguson announced his daring plan to swim along the South African coast during the Sublime World Ocean Day Swim.

This week, she told The Independent on Saturday that she would face “the world’s wildest coast” as she plans to cover the distance in stages.

The logistics are complicated, so “we are giving ourselves a full year until 2023 to finish swimming,” she said.

Ferguson’s Guinness World Record for nonstop swimming around Easter Island in Chile, which she achieved in November 2019, making history the first person to do so, was a major challenge, but she said his project of swimming on the South African coast was an even bigger challenge.

“It’s a huge undertaking from a logistical point of view and I hope to start in March. It will probably take a year because I will be taking winter leave (June, July and August 2022). This is when the ocean is the winter feeding ground for the great whites (sharks) and of course the Sardine Run. Even so, I will be dealing with massive currents and marine life like sharks, jellyfish and bluebottles.

“With containment and Covid, we were looking for the next swim to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Our own coastline is incredibly beautiful and there is not enough awareness of plastic pollution.

“I grew up in Cape Town but live in Durban so it will be a home away from home swim,” she said.

During his winter break, Ferguson will educate schools about plastic pollution in the oceans and start swimming again in September 2022.

Highlighting the problem of plastic pollution in the Umgeni River in Durban, Ferguson said: “Many rivers flow into the Umgeni River and with them a lot of garbage. This includes plastic bottles and caps, straws, packets of crisps, ear flaps, flip flops and “lots of styrofoam.”

She added, “Plastic never goes away, it causes toxic buildup and our marine life suffocates. It affects the whole chain (of marine ecosystems).

“But it’s not too late and we have to keep fighting. During the short hiatus during the Covid lockdown, carbon dioxide emissions have dropped significantly, which is a sign it can be done.

“Nature is amazing and will restore itself if we leave it alone.

“Every consumer can make changes in their daily life and it is important to educate young people because they will create the change. “

Ferguson said she would start training for her race from Durban to Cape Town in August.

“I train all the time, but once I start training in August, I will need to gain weight for the distances I cover and acclimatize to the time spent in the water,” he said. she said, adding that she liked smoothies and soups to gain weight.

“This swim is going to be a very big swim and a lot more difficult than the Easter Island swim,” she said.

Oceans cover 70% of the planet and produce at least 50% of the world’s oxygen.

It is also the primary source of protein for over 1 billion people, while approximately 40 million people will be employed in ocean industries by 2030.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year and account for 80% of all marine debris, from surface water to deep-sea sediments.

Plastic pollution is now considered a major threat to marine life and marine ecology, with nearly 90% of the large fish population being depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed.

World Oceans Day was celebrated on June 8.

Sarah Ferguson to swim from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of the devastating impact of plastic pollution

SourceSarah Ferguson to swim from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of the devastating impact of plastic pollution

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