It is going to come as no surprise when I say we are facing a climate crisis. The science is in, the genuine sceptics are in a crushing minority, there is no debate: We are in crisis and we are running out of time.
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest issues we face today. Nowhere is this more evident than in our oceans.
● 8 million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the ocean each year (Jenna Jambeck)
● Only 9% of plastic is recycled globally (more info: https://goo.gl/aozz5D)
● We use over one million plastic bags every minute worldwide (see a live count of the plastic
bags used worldwide here: https://goo.gl/MT4bEW)
● By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (source: https://goo.gl/a2rZG7)
● There are five subtropical gyres, where plastic is collecting in the ocean (more info:
● Most plastics, even when certified as biodegradable, do not breakdown in water (source:
● Toxic chemicals in the ocean, such as pesticides, flame retardants and industrial waste, lead to
bioaccumulation of toxics in the food chain
● Many chemicals found in plastic have been linked to disease, and are found to be
contaminating our bodies through food and other plastic consumer products
● Plastic debris also threatens marine and terrestrial wildlife through entanglement or by
clogging their digestive tracts.
But what can we do? That is exactly what I aim to find out!
I’m Fade Meraki, Tattooist, tattoo anthropologist and aerial performer based in Brighton in the United Kingdom, and I need your help!
I am fortunate to have earned a spot on eXXpedition’s all-women sailing expedition circumnavigating the globe, collecting micro plastic data, combating plastic pollution and ocean toxicity. I am incredibly excited to be on board to take part in this phenomenal one-of-a-kind project.
In March 2020, I will be sailing 2500 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean!
Starting at Easter Island, one of the most remote inhabited islands on Earth and surrounded by the Rapa Nui Marine Park, we will be exposed to some thought-provoking experiences as we meet with a local community organisation to look at the plastic pollution challenges on land.
We will then set sail towards the Pitcairn group of islands and weather permitting, will visit Henderson, an uninhabited island that is a United Nations World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest marine reserves.
Henderson is thought to be the world’s most polluted uninhabited islands and trash is thought to wash up on its shores at a rate of 3500 pieces per day (National Geographic) and therefore it will provide an interesting stop over on our way to Tahiti. We will step ashore to investigate some of the impacts of this influx of marine debris.
We will set sail again for Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia. We will have an interesting story to share when we set foot on land and collaborate with a local community group to raise awareness of the issue and share our findings.
I will be assisting in the collection of samples to feed into large-scale studies on plastics and toxics in the world’s oceans, as well as creating multi-media projects to help find solutions, spread awareness of plastic pollution, educate and empower consumers to make better choices.
I need your help to raise £8,400. This money 100% contributes towards the cost of running the voyages. I will be covering my own personal expenses and I will be working in shifts around the clock crewing the boat while at sea crossing the Pacific Ocean through all types of weatherfor 24 days!
I am working with the tattoo community worldwide by organsing tattoo flash days and tattoo artists contributing to this cause.
Tattoo artists globally are generously donating their time and skills offering the proceeds of tattooing to this campaign and their clients can donate the tattoo money to exxpedition via the rewards listed on this page but anyone can get involved by donating to this campaign.
I will be publishing articles and video showing the tattoo history in Easter Island, Tahiti and showing the artwork our community has made to fund combating ocean pollution.
eXXpedition, the Community Interest Company behind Round the World 2019-2021, specialises in all-women sailing trips with a focus on highlighting the devastating impact single-use plastic and toxics from land-based activities are having on our planet’s oceans, ecosystems and on human health. Previous research carried out by eXXpedition has highlighted the endemic nature of microplastics within our ocean environments globally and the increasing potential impact they have on human health.
eXXpedition was founded in 2014 by ocean advocate Emily Penn and Dr Lucy Gilliam to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas. eXXpedition became a Community Interest Company in 2017. You can read more information about our team here:www.exxpedition.com/team
eXXpedition Round The World will take place on the 70ft steel hulled ‘Yacht Discovery’, owned and operated by Discovery Expeditions. You can find out more about Discovery here:https://yachtdiscovery.co.uk/boat/
AIMS OF EXXPEDITION
●To collect scientific samples to feed into large-scale studies
●To explore the scale of plastic pollution and the available solutions
●Tofacilitate collaboration opportunities between the diverse crew of women – artists, scientists, filmmakers, sustainability professionals, businesswomen, sailors and so much more
●To empower the all-female crew to become more effective ocean ambassadors
●To carry out outreach events, where possible, to engage local communities and generate press coverage
AIMS OF EXXPEDITION ROUND THE WORLD
●Support solutions-based science by contributing to world class scientific studies that are urgently needed to inform up-stream solutions and close the loop on plastic waste on land
●Challenge perceptions by using our platform to inform and educate so that people can better understand the real problem of micro-plastics and use that to shape actions and solutions
●Create a community of change-makers and inspiring global ambassadors to tackle plastic pollution back on dry land. During their ocean experience participants discover the power of their individual roles in addressing the issues. Empowered by their first hand experience at sea we provide the tools, confidence and support they need to become effective leaders that can influence meaningful impact through their personal and professional communities.
SCIENCE ON BOARD
For our Round the World voyages, eXXpedition will work in partnership with internationally-recognised ocean plastic experts to carry out plastics-related citizen science, both at sea and on shore.
Professor Richard Thompson and his team of scientists at the University of Plymouth will be taking the lead on our sea-based science programme, while the collaboration with Dr Jenna Jambeck and the University of Georgia will be focused on land impacts. The impacts on local communities will be measured using a Circularity Assessment Protocol, developed at the University of Georgia, which looks at everything from waste washed up on coastlines to plastics in community shops.
Why this cause is important to me
I have always been a socially conscious person. As a global tattoo anthropologist, I have had occasion to witness firsthand the environmental impact of industrialisation in developing nations and the resulting change in ecosystems and landscapes.
I travelled to Borneo and lived with the Iban tribe where I witnessed deforestation and plastic pollution in primary rainforests.
I have witness mounds of plastic waste on the beaches of Bali and West Sumatra and in domestic areas of south India chocking wildlife, water ways and next to peoples homes attracting rodent infestations.
Daily I comb my local beach in Brighton UK, collecting plastics and fishing net debris.
In 2017 I became involved with Sea Shepherd firstly by tattooing Sea creatures to raise funds for their global ocean conservation.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and giving your time to a worthy cause.
If you would like to find out more about plastic pollution, you can find some excellent resources at the Ocean ChangemakersWebsite.
Please also read more about eXXpedition and their past and future projects at exxpedition.com.