Hollywood heavyweight Javier Bardem has dived to the bottom of the Antarctic in support of the creation of an Ocean Sanctuary, with a decision on the proposed nature reserve to be made in Hobart later this year.
After completing the two-hour dive in a two-person submarine alongside Greenpeace US marine biologist John Hocevar, the Spanish actor said he was shocked by the variety of colours that existed 270 metres below the surface.
“It is an incredibly important mission to go down and document these species in all their colourful existence to prove the importance of protecting a unique ocean that also feeds all the bigger animals in the Antarctic,” Mr Bardem said in a statement.
“As soon as we reached the sea floor, I was completely amazed by the overwhelming variety of colours and life all around us,”
During a three-month expedition, Greenpeace is conducting scientific research in the Antarctic, sampling for plastic pollution, and filming footage underwater.
There is an urgent need to create a 1.8 million square kilometre Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins, Greenpeace says.
With the help of Bardem, Greenpeace is building a strong scientific case for the protection of the ocean and will show the key findings to the Commission later in the year.
The proposed sanctuary will be considered by the Hobart-based Antarctic Ocean Commission – of which Australia is a member – in October.
“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” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Alix Foster Vander Elst said in a statement.
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