Wings of the ocean

Wings Of The Ocean – Conquering Plastic Pollution

Wings Of The Ocean - ocean conservation

Wings of the Ocean is a French association who are tackling the crisis of the seas head on. Originally founded by two friends in 2018, the organisation has since blown up. With three sail boats now in their fleet, Wings of the Ocean journey across the seas, fighting the war on the pollution that is cursing our waters. With their mission now extended to canals, rivers and land, their spirit and vision is revolutionary.

pollution control actions and awareness

Combining costal plastic collections with the all important gift of education, Wings of the Ocean are nurturing and growing their mantra far and wide. Currently mid-way through an annual tour covering France, Spain, Madeira and the Canary Islands onboard The Kraken, they welcome groups of children and adults alike to share the experience. “Education is the primary source – our most trusted weapon – in our quest for resilience against climate change. We’re never too old to be educated.” Wings of the Ocean encourage volunteers into their army of combat, and urge anybody interested to seek their local branch.

Volunteer crew

The Canary Green Team was honoured to have met some of the 30 people strong Wings of the Ocean volunteer team and discover more about their ethos. Their quest to conquer climate change doesn’t just include a campaign against plastic. On board, the diet is vegetarian only (with vegan options), organic and from local production in line with the association’s ethics. They use everyday products such as toothpastes, detergents and soap sourced from natural substances and homemade.

In short

Wings of the Ocean Mission:
• Shoreline cleanup
• Raising awareness

Specifically, they are committed to:

  • Collecting plastic and ghost nets from beaches and coastal seabeds
  • Recycling collected plastic in partnership with plastic recycling organizations (Seaqual, etc…)
  • Raising public awareness by organizing boat tours, school talks, conferences, going on television, and using the Internet and social media on the issues and consequences of plastic use
  • Conduct on-board zero-waste workshops to present solutions to reduce plastic waste (during stopovers);
  • Host oceanographers on board and provide a laboratory for scientific research
  • Count marine mammals during navigation (ObsenMer)

Beach clean-up in santa cruz

Big thank you to Wings of the Ocean for organizing the clean-up and taking the initiative to bring us all together to help mitigate the problem of plastic pollution.
Clean-up wasn’t just about collecting trash from the beach Las Terasitas in Santa Cruz, but also about raising awareness about plastic pollution.More info here on Facebook Event.

Climate change is happening NOW

We might kid ourselves that the disease of climate change will not fully take hold in our lifetime, but we need to open our eyes. Climate change is happening NOW, right in-front of us. It’s imperative that we act.

It’s easy to think that chucking a widely recyclable item into a normal bin won’t matter, or that buying another packet of plastic straws won’t have an impact, but the issue has spread a whole lot further than our own homes. Think of it like this: by disregarding the advice, we are adding to the millions who are actively allowing the four walls of our planet to come crashing down.

Maybe we’d think differently if we knew that, on average, we consume a bank card amount of plastic every week, without even realising? By polluting our oceans, we are polluting our marine life, and by polluting our marine life, we are polluting ourselves. Don’t for one minute think that our greed isn’t turning a full circle.

Another tip from our Canary Green team is to watch Seaspiracy which will give you an insight into an even more effective way to safe marine life from plastic pollution – decrease or stop consuming food that comes from the oceans as the industrial fishing industry is one of the biggest plastic polluters with 46% of the pacific garbage patch being fishing nets. Overfishing and wasting up to 40% of bycatch has a major impact on marine biodiversity which we need as it produces oxygen (85% of the world’s oxygen comes from phytoplankton which is fertilized by marine life). 

Simple solutions

Obviously, the simplest solution would be for less plastic to be produced, and for its usage to be reduced on a widespread scale. However, this isn’t a straightforward task, especially when taking into consideration the implications of stressing the importance to huge production lines and governments.

Did you know?
“Ocean plastic coming from straws is 0.03% of all plastic in the ocean”

So how can we offer our hand to the oceans, and do our bit in preserving its magnificence?
The answer is simple, and it stares us in the face every day: use less plastic and consume less marine life! The more aware and educated we become on the severity of the situation, the less plastic or plastic garbage producing industries we will buy into.

“For every pound of tuna we’re taking out of the ocean, we’re putting two pounds of plastic in the ocean,” says ocean scientist Sherry Lippiatt

Really take a good, hard look at your weekly shop. How much of that often needless plastic packaging can we eliminate? Can we buy the same products with less harmful packing? Can we consume more plant proteins instead animal proteins? If so, do it! The 20-30 people strong crew on board the Kraken is doing it too!

Avoid plastic as much as you can, pick up discarded rubbish #PloggingCanarias, recycle, eat your fruits, veggies, legumes and plant proteins. If you need help to switch your diet to a more sustainable plant focused one, reach out to Andrea in our team who is a nutritionist and can help you make easy and delicious switches. Get inspiration and join our #MeatFreeMondayCanarias

These small changes may seem like whispering footsteps in the face of this deliberating giant, but if we all commit to playing our part, we can change the world.

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Thank you

Thank you to everyone involved in this Canary Green project where our aim is to help promote sustainable tourism in the Canary Islands.

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