World-record paddleboarder Cal Major heads to the Maldives for a unique ‘Stand Up For Our Seas’ expedition

Vet surgeon and Klean Kanteen ambassador, Dr Cal Major, is taking part in a 100km Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) expedition across the Maldives, to highlight the devastating impact of plastic pollution on the region’s wildlife.

The ‘Stand Up For Our Seas’ expedition begins on February 21st and is expected to take a week.

The team of four women: vets Dr Cal Major and Dr Claire Petros, together with conservationists Dhafeena Hassan Ibrahim and Shaaziya Saeed will paddle through the Baa Atoll to establish the scale of marine debris in the area and investigate the positive initiatives already underway.

Garry Woodhouse, Sales and Marketing Director of Whitby & Co – UK distributor of Klean Kanteen – said: “Cal Major is an inspirational figure in the drive to tackle pollution and help prevent plastic leaking into the natural environment. Cal’s expedition across the Maldives will clearly illustrate some of the tragic consequences of marine litter and inspire others to take action, adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle.”

Around 640,000 tons of ghost gear is dumped in our oceans each year[1]. Between 2013 and 2018, volunteers in the Maldives, Pakistan, Oman, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka disposed of more than 1,300 ghost nets and other detritus, but much more pollution goes unrecovered[2].

The expedition is led by scientists from the Olive Ridley Project, a charity that rescues and rehabilitates injured sea turtles across the Maldives. The team aims to discover the source of the ghost gear and to provide recommendations for long-term solutions to the problem. Scores of turtles are regularly discovered with slashed or missing flippers, as well as deep scars around their necks. These injuries require urgent medical attention, including flipper amputations.

Dr Cal Major, founder of Paddle Against Plastic, said: “Turtles have become the face of our campaign against plastic pollution in our oceans, as they are so easily injured by discarded fishing nets and marine litter.”

As part of their paddleboard tour, Cal and Claire will work together to rescue any injured animals they find as they tour the local islands. Cal added: “Sea turtles are an integral part of our marine ecosystem and they play a vital role in maintaining the health of our oceans. Through education and awareness, we hope to help conserve the important turtle population in the Maldives.”

Klean Kanteen will equip the team with reusable food and drinks products to help them throughout the expedition.

References:

[1] http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/docs/Ghost_fishing_report.pdf

[2] https://oliveridleyproject.org/orp-mission/removing-ghost-gear-from-ocean

About Klean Kanteen

A leader in BPA-free stainless steel drinkware and food transport, Kean Kanteen is family owned and operated, with distribution in 40-plus countries worldwide. With environmental stewardship and fair labour central to the company’s philosophy, Klean Kanteen is in Business for Good™. Klean Kanteen is a B Corporation, certified by the non-profit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.