Oscar-winner Javier Bardem dives to Antarctic seafloor to call for protection of the Antarctic Ocean

Press release - 29 January, 2018
Sydney, 30 January, 2018 – Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem has dived to the Antarctic seafloor in a two-person submarine to call for the creation of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

[See video of Javier’s dive here.]

After a two-hour dive to the Antarctic Peninsula seabed, Javier Bardem described the “overwhelming variety of colours and life” 270m below the surface.

“It is an incredibly important mission to go down and document these species in all their colorful existence and to prove the importance of protecting this unique ocean,” Bardem said.

Greenpeace is currently undertaking a three-month expedition to the Antarctic to carry out scientific research, including sampling for plastic pollution, to highlight the urgent need to create a 1.8 million square kilometre Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins.

Javier Bardem continued: “As soon as we reached the seafloor, I was completely amazed by the overwhelming variety of colors and life all around us. I’m not a biologist, but to find a pink, yellow and green world of corals and sponges at the bottom of the Antarctic Ocean was a real surprise to me.”

“It was a very relaxed experience, even though I’d expected to become more nervous, as we dived into the deep. It is really impressive to witness the scientific research that is done on this expedition first-hand and I’m just very grateful to be allowed one dive in between the many others where a real Antarctic biologist is in the passenger seat!”

“To me, an experience like this shows exactly why we need to show respect as human beings. It is an incredibly important mission to go down and document these species in all their colorful existence to prove the importance of protecting a unique ocean that also feeds all the bigger animals in the Antarctic”.

John Hocevar, a Greenpeace US marine biologist who piloted the submarine, said:

“Being in a two-person submarine with Javier Bardem was awesome. He was a very relaxed passenger, especially considering this was his first dive. He seemed completely awestruck by the whole experience and so was I.”

The proposal for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has been submitted by the EU and will be considered when the Hobart-based Antarctic Ocean Commission next convenes, in October 2018.

Key findings from the footage gathered from the submarine dives will be shared with the Commission to establish localised protection as well as to strengthen this and other upcoming proposals for marine protection in the Antarctic.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said Greenpeace’s Antarctic expedition was continuing to build the scientific case for protecting the Antarctic Ocean and the marine life it supports.

“Although there is still much work to be done, it is already clear at this early stage of the expedition that the Antarctic is home to a diverse range of species who deserve our protection,” she said.

“The Antarctic Ocean Commission must carry out its mandate to protect the Antarctic by establishing an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. More than 600,000 petition signatories are calling on them to do just that and this latest evidence of the rich marine life that exists in the Antarctic further bolsters their case.”

 

ENDS

Notes:

See footage of Javier Bardem’s submarine dive here: http://media.greenpeace.org/archive/Actor-Javier-Bardem-dives-in-Greenpeace-submarine-in-Antarctic-Ocean--with-Greenpeace-marine-biologist-John-Hocevar.-News-Edit-27MZIFJXE45T0.html

See further photo and video of the expedition and submarine dives, see here: http://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MZIFJX9IE3D

The petition to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary has already gathered over half a million signatures globally: http://protecttheantarctic.org

 

Media contacts:

Martin Zavan 0424 295 422, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Media Campaigner,

Greenpeace International Press Desk, , +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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