Aqua Expeditions pledges to remove 25,000 pounds of ocean plastic

   June 9, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Aqua Expeditions/fleet, renowned for its luxurious small-ship voyages to diverse ecological havens, has forged a partnership with 4Ocean - a stalwart in the battle against oceanic plastic pollution - vowing to extract a minimum of 25,000 pounds of plastic from global waterways in the coming year.

Additionally, Aqua has submitted an application to join the Science Based Targets Initiatives (SBTi), setting its sights on diminishing carbon emissions by at least 4.5% by 2030, aligning with objectives that aim to curtail global temperature escalation. These newly-forged initiatives seamlessly integrate with the company's ongoing sustainability endeavors, underscoring their steadfast dedication to safeguarding marine biodiversity along their maritime routes.

In collaboration with 4Ocean, a company distinguished for its employment of dedicated crews to recover oceanic plastic waste, Aqua will orchestrate engagement campaigns across its fleet. Furthermore, Aqua Expeditions will proudly feature 4Ocean’s iconic bracelets crafted from recycled materials (each symbolizing the removal of five pounds of oceanic plastic) on board its vessels.

Sales of these bracelets, handcrafted by artisans in Bali and Guatemala, have facilitated the elimination of an impressive 30 million pounds of debris from global waterways.

In pursuit of its science-driven emissions reduction objectives, the cruise line has enrolled in the SBTi, endeavoring to slash carbon emissions by a minimum of 4.5% by 2030. Aqua Expeditions stands as the sole small ship brand to collaborate with SBTi. This commitment will be realized through a suite of operational enhancements, encompassing judicious engine and anchor usage alongside meticulously crafted itineraries designed to optimize fuel and energy utilization. These innovative initiatives fortify Aqua Expeditions' existing sustainability portfolio.

Since 2020, Aqua has cultivated partnerships with conservation entities such as The Manta Trust, fostering initiatives to safeguard manta rays in Raja Ampat and the Savu Sea. This collaborative venture has yielded significant milestones, including the identification of 2,000 individual reef manta rays in Raja Ampat, the discovery of new manta cleaning stations, and the establishment of a marine conservation education program in six local primary schools.

As of 2024, the company has pledged support for The Manta Trust by providing underwater cameras to bolster research and conservation efforts.

In the Galapagos, Aqua Expeditions has aligned forces with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) to rejuvenate the archipelago's terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This year, Aqua will sponsor the CDF Shark Ecology and Conservation Program, focusing on the study of endemic shark populations and their migratory behaviors to ensure enduring conservation efforts.

Aqua Expeditions actively engages in collaborations with both local and regional entities in the destinations it traverses, striving to effectuate a positive ecological impact and uplift the communities reliant on these natural habitats. Noteworthy achievements include the rehabilitation of the paiche fish population, the release of 2100 taricaya turtles into the Peruvian Amazon, and the support extended to the Amazon Rescue Centre for the release of 25 manatees. Embracing the belief in individual agency to drive change, Aqua spearheads awareness campaigns and provides educational avenues for local communities. Their partnership with the Indonesian Waste Platform empowers island communities in Indonesia to implement effective waste management practices, curtailing the flow of plastic debris into our oceans.