Jon Sanders (AO OBE) has docked in Mauritius, the 80-year-old sailor’s first stop on his solo circumnavigation of the globe and mission to spread Minderoo Foundation’s #NoPlasticWaste message.
Jon completed the first leg of his 11th circumnavigation of the globe on Sunday 1 December, 29 days after departing Fremantle, Western Australia.
Jon is undertaking this endeavour in his 81st year to raise awareness of plastic pollution – the most imminent health and environmental threat facing our planet.
Estimates suggest that plastic costs over US$2.2 trillion a year in environmental and social damage.
This unacceptable cost to humanity led Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Australian-based Minderoo Foundation to come on board as a supporter for Jon’s solo circumnavigation of the globe.
Stepping off his boat at Port Louis, Jon said he was pleased with his progress and the weather conditions on the first leg of his trip.
“It’s been good going so far, I’m very happy with the weather and winds,” Sanders said.
“This is just a brief stop, to hand over my samples from this first stage and fix my tracking system.”
The Minderoo Foundation recently launched the #NoPlasticWaste campaign and “Sea The Future” fund at the United Nations in New York.
Australia’s High Commissioner in Mauritius, Jenny Dee, welcomed Jon’s arrival.
“It’s great that Jon’s first stop on his voyage is in Mauritius, building on the strong relationship between our two countries,” High Commissioner Dee said.
“As partners in the Indian Ocean, we have a shared interest in protecting our marine environment and Jon’s voyage is contributing to raising awareness of the issue of marine plastic waste, and conducting important research in the ocean we share.”
Throughout the voyage Jon will be collecting water samples for analysis by researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. The results will build a more detailed picture of the plastic pollution across the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere.
“One of the reasons for undertaking the voyage and partnering with Curtin, is to build a better understanding of the microplastic pollution in our oceans,” Sanders said.
“There’s a lot of data on the Altantic and other Northern Hemisphere oceans, but not much in the South.
“We’re hoping to change that.”
Sanders’ vessel and voyage is branded under the banner of #NoPlasticWaste, as the forces align to raise awareness for the petition, which already has thousands urging world and business leaders to act on plastic pollution.
Jon’s next stop is Durban in South Africa.
Results from the microplastics testing are expected in early 2020 after the samples collected from Jon in Mauritius are analysed back at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.