The Blue Marine Yacht Club (BMYC), a virtual club, is helping megayacht owners and industry firms get involved in ocean-conservation efforts spearheaded by a two-year-old organization, the Blue Marine Foundation.
The Blue Marine Foundation was established in 2010 by the filmmakers who created The End of the Line, a documentary about the impact of overfishing. The foundation’s goal is to get 10 percent of the world’s oceans protected by 2020. While ambitious-sounding, it could very well happen. When the foundation was created, a bit more than just one percent was protected, while now, more than three percent is.
“Marine conservation is underfunded,” says Chris Gorell Barnes (pictured, at right), co-founder of Blue Marine Foundation. BMYC will allow megayacht owners, brokers, builders, marinas, and more to lend support. “Whether you’re an owner or a broker, your happiness depends on the ocean’s health,” he explains. Y.CO, which helped arrange the official announcement of the BMYC at the Monaco Yacht Show last month, is supporting the cause. Charter-yacht guests can pay add-on rates, and marinas can support via supplemental berth rates. As for megayacht owners, a few are already involved. The owner of the new Wally Better Place was recognized during the official launch, for example. He joins Sir Charles Dunstone, the UK-based founder and chairman of the Carphone Warehouse and owner of Hamilton, the first WallyCento sailing yacht. Better Place’s owner also joins Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, the entrepreneurial couple behind the Team Alinghi sailing syndicate, among other things, and owners of Vava II, completed by Pendennis (started by Devonport Yachts).
Megayacht owners who join BMYC further get the use of a special Blue burgee (pictured), designed by clothier Ralph Lauren. Depending on the donation made, one two, or three stars will be on the flag. As an example, Gorrell Barnes says that a donation significant enough to fund a marine reserve gets three stars.
Megayacht owners and industry representatives aren’t the only ones voicing support for the cause. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco (pictured with Gorrell Barnes) attended the launch, stating that his own foundation, strongly focused on environmental matters, was partnering with the Blue Marine Foundation. “It is necessary today to raise the yachting sector’s awareness, among others, of the need to undertake ethical and socially responsible behavior,” he says.
Dunstone agrees. “Owners owe it to themselves to get behind the BMYC cause,” he explains. “Firstly, in recognition that we can’t go on using the seas as a giant playground without putting something back; secondly, because it enables us to use our money and influence to make a tangible difference to the planet. And thirdly, simply because as yacht owners we love the oceans and recognize our responsibility to support their protection for future generations. I want my kids to enjoy clean, functioning oceans and I’m proud to be playing some small part in ensuring they can.”
“The BMYC is so much more than a yacht club, it has the potential to dramatically change the future of the world’s oceans,” Gorell Barnes says. “People feel they can’t help—but that’s just not true. Creating marine protected areas allow ecosystems to recover. This initiative, and the work that it will enable, will have lasting and significant impact—in our generation, and for generations to come.”
For more information directly from the Blue Marine Foundation, please fill out our contact form.