Row over the Atlantic: a new collaboration to save the Baltic harbour porpoise

Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) and the Swedish adventurers Måns Kämpe and Sören Kjellkvist [1] are pleased to announce the  launch of a collaboration to save the endangered Baltic whale, the harbour porpoise. Måns and Sören will during the winter of 2021-22 row over the Atlantic from Portugal to the Caribbean, a journey of about 6000 kilometers which will take around 3 months. 

Throughout the rowing, Måns and Sören will write a daily report (both in English and Swedish) by publishing updates on the journey and facts & figures on the harbour porpoise [2]. The aim is to raise awareness about the Baltic harbour porpoise, which currently has less than 500 animals left and is near extinction [3], due to bycatch [4], contaminants and underwater noise.

As a preparation for the big adventure Sören and Måns will row from Stockholm to Visby during the Almedalen Week [5] in the beginning of July and there, together with Coalition Clean Baltic, will share information, create opinion and collect signatures to raise awareness and put pressure for the implementation of emergency measures to protect this cetacean population. 

“Both Sören and I are deeply committed to life in the seas, and we both feel that it is horrible that the only species of whale living in the Baltic Sea is facing extinction. We want to share and debate, and dedicate our adventure to the important issue of saving the Baltic harbour porpoise. CCB helps us with training materials and the scientific expertise needed to make a real difference”

said Måns Kämpe.

Ida Carlén, Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Officer at Coalition Clean Baltic, added:

“We work to achieve the changes required to save the Baltic harbour porpoise and help it stabilize, and our collaboration with Måns and Sören gives us the chance to bring this issue out through media to a wider audience. A lot of people are not even aware that there is a species of whale in the Baltic Sea, and that it is so close to extinction.”

We want to preserve the Baltic biodiversity and urgent action can still prevent the extinction and save the Baltic porpoise.

You can read the PR in Swedish at this link.


NOTES

[1] Måns Kämpe and Sören Kjellkvist are adventurers with an urge to experience, learn, inspire, share, educate and discuss nature and wildlife, on land and in the oceans.

[2] Måns Kämpe and Sören Kjellkvist’s blog: https://sorenkjellkvist.se/start_slider/aventyrsbeskrivning-ro-over-atlanten/

[3] The Baltic Sea harbour porpoise population is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN:
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/17031/0
https://ccb.se/harbour-porpoise/

[4] Bycatch is the incidental capture of non-target species such as harbour porpoise, dolphins, marine turtles and seabirds during fishing. This is one of the main threats to the Baltic harbour porpoise: https://ccb.se/2021/05/bycatch-of-critically-endangered-baltic-sea-harbour-porpoise-must-stop/

[5] The Almedalen Week (Almedalsveckan, also known as Politician’s Week in Almedalen) is an annual event taking place in July on the Swedish island Gotland. With speeches, seminars and other political activities, it is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics: https://almedalsveckan.info/english