In this episode of Talks at GS, Lewis Pugh, world-record-winning endurance swimmer and United Nations patron of the oceans, discusses how he found passion and purpose in endurance swimming, as well as his mission to protect the world’s oceans and marine life.
On finding purpose in endurance swimming: “It came to a moment where I was noticing the huge changes which were occurring in the oceans. And then I realized, Lewis, it needs to be more than just swimming. You now need to try and be a voice for the world's oceans. Then there was a whole new sort of rejuvenation of my swimming, that I would be looking at places around the world and asking myself, ‘Can I do a swim here, there, or where can I do a swim which can graphically show leaders what is happening in this specific part of the world?’”
On advocating for oceanic protection: “When it comes to climate change, the solution is very clear. We need to build on the Paris Agreements. When it comes to plastic, the solution is there. We need to stop and reduce our use of avoidable, single use plastic. And when it comes to fishing, the solution is there. We need to create large marine protected areas, which are like national parks in the sea…the science is very clear when we do this, the oceans recover, and they can recover magnificently—but we need to take the action now.