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Swimming through garbage in the world's oceans

Overfishing and pollution have badly affected marine ecosystems

Published Fri, Oct 3, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Cape Town

YOU get a good feel for the health of the oceans when you stick your head in them for four weeks. This summer, I swam long distances in the Seven Seas: the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black, Red, Arabian and North Seas. The longest swim was 37 miles and took me two days.

The swims were intended to draw attention to the health of the oceans. But I seriously underestimated the urgency of the issue I was swimming for. As the United Nations Patron of the Oceans, I have given many speeches stressing the need to protect our environment for the sake of our children and grandchildren. I now realise it's not about our children. It's about us. And the situation is much worse than I thought.

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