- The partnership between Hyundai Motor Company and Healthy Seas tackles marine pollution in African waters departing from the Italian island of Lampedusa
- The eight-day expedition successfully removed ghost gear from ships sunken during WWII in the Mediterranean Sea
- The mission retrieved a 700-kg net, which has been upcycled into new nets
SEOUL/OFFENBACH, July 27, 2023 – Following the clean-up operation in Tossa de Mar, Spain, the partnership between Hyundai and Healthy Seas has continued its third year of collaboration with a remarkable project in the Mediterranean Sea, spanning from Italy’s Lampedusa Island to Tunisia.
This endeavour proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding for the partnership, as the divers encountered difficult conditions, including a remote location and limited supplies on board. Over the course of an eight-day expedition that concluded on June 29, volunteer divers from five countries, boasting extensive diving experience, managed to remove nearly one ton of ghost gear.
Not only were the conditions of this project exceptional, but the location where the divers retrieved the ghost gear was also remarkable: a shipwreck from World War II, sunk during the Battle of Convoys, and still containing several aerial bombs and vehicles. Despite not being the conventional site for ghost gear removal, the preservation of historical wrecks holds paramount importance for the marine ecosystem.
Pascal van Erp, Deputy Director of Healthy Seas and Founder of Ghost Diving, said, “Wrecks provide excellent habitats for marine life, acting as reefs and offering shelter. Simultaneously, wrecks are the most common entanglement sites for fishing nets. It is estimated that 640,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or abandoned annually in the world’s seas and oceans, leading to the suffering and death of millions of marine animals.”
This mission also aimed at documenting various wrecks as cultural monuments. By collecting over 12,000 photos and applying photogrammetric techniques, 3D virtual models are created to make the wrecks accessible to scientists and the wider public. Following the retrieval of the 700-kg net from the shipwreck, its structure was exposed, rendering it a safer environment for marine life and enhancing accessibility for fellow divers. Healthy Seas conducted a thorough examination of the net’s material and structure before sending it for upcycling into new nets.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with Healthy Seas, working together to promote marine conservation,” said Michael Cole, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Europe. “Through our joint efforts, we have not only tackled challenging clean-up projects but also raised awareness about the importance of preserving our underwater heritage. Hyundai remains committed to sustainable practices and the well-being of our oceans.”
Under Hyundai Motor’s ‘Progress for Humanity’ brand vision, the company aims to create shared value by scaling social impacts and building a sustainable business ecosystem, among others. This mission inspired HMC’s latest CSV initiative, ‘Hyundai Continue’.
‘Hyundai Continue’ is making transformative efforts for a sustainable future through its three core areas: Continue Earth, Continue Mobility, and Continue Hope. Continue Earth represents Hyundai Motor’s desire to take care of the planet and combat climate change. The technology and advancements from Continue Mobility will democratize mobility and make it safer. Continue Hope aims to educate future generations and support the growth of talented young people.
About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is present in over 200 countries with more than 120,000 employees dedicated to tackling real-world mobility challenges around the globe. Based on the brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity,’ Hyundai Motor is accelerating its transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions, while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services. In pursuit of sustainable future for the world, Hyundai will continue its efforts to introduce zero emission vehicles equipped with industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell and EV technologies.
More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at: http://worldwide.hyundai.com or http://globalpr.hyundai.com
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