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Aqua working with 4Ocean and SBTi to clean oceans, cut carbon emissions

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Plus, Aqua continues to partner with The Manta Trust, a project that safeguards manta rays in Raja Ampat and the Savu Sea, a population threatened by targeted fishing, bycatch and increased pressure on habitats.
Aqua Expeditions entered into a global partnership with 4Ocean and applied to join The Science Based Targets Initiatives to help clean the world’s oceans, rivers and coastlines, and reduce carbon emissions. 

With 4Ocean, Aqua will contribute to the removal of at least 25,000 pounds of plastic from the world’s waterways over the next year. Passengers will have the opportunity to contribute to this cause by purchasing a bracelet made from recycled materials, each one representing five pounds of plastic removed from the world’s waterways. Aqua will also lead activations across its fleet, for targeted clean-ups across all destinations. 

Science Based Targets Initiatives

Aqua is also engaging with the SBTi with the aim of curbing its carbon emissions by a minimum of 4.5% by 2030. This will be done as part of SBTi’s Corporate Net-Zero Standard – the world’s first framework for corporate net-zero target setting in line with climate science. Aqua’s commitment will be achieved through a series of operational changes including smart engine and anchor use as well as more efficient itinerary planning, allowing for more efficient fuel and energy consumption. 

Aqua Expeditions Founder & CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro said, ‘We are thrilled to join forces with 4Ocean, alongside our recent commitment to SBTi, to minimise our emissions and further our dedication to conserving the rich tapestry of aquatic marine life in the destinations we traverse, protecting these waterways for future generations, all while establishing new benchmarks for conscientious luxury travel.’ 

Newer engines and solar panels 

These actions compliment Aqua’s existing initiatives, which include their advanced on board waste management systems for plastic separation, water purification systems which ensure only pristine water goes back into the rivers and oceans, and sourcing 70% of all ingredients used on board locally to support the communities they visit. 

In the long term, all of Aqua’s river ships will be equipped with solar panels to reduce fuel consumption for lighting and air-conditioning. 

Older engines in the fleet will also be replaced with newer fuel-efficient models. 

Update on some existing projects:

Indonesia 

The announcement comes as Aqua continues its various other projects to protect and preserve ocean life, among them, working with The Manta Trust to safeguard manta rays in Raja Ampat and the Savu Sea, a population threatened by targeted fishing, bycatch and increased pressure on habitats. Utilising research to better understand the mantas, it drives localized conservation, education programs, and monitors the mantas long-term. 

Since 2020, this partnership has seen the identification of 2,000 individual reef manta rays in Raja Ampat, the discovery of new manta cleaning stations, now under the protection of the project, and the development of a marine conservation education program with six local primary schools. As of 2024, Aqua has committed to providing Manta Trust with new underwater cameras to better support research and conservation efforts. 

Aqua also leads awareness programmes and offers educational opportunities engaging with the local communities: It reports that its partnership with the Indonesian Waste Platform has empowered those in Indonesia’s island communities to implement waste disposal methods, stopping plastic debris from ending up in oceans.

Ecuador

Since the launch of Aqua Mare in 2022, Aqua’s naturalist guides have worked closely with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos Conservation Trust in a joint commitment to restore land and marine habitats in the Galapagos. This year, Aqua Expeditions furthers that partnership with its commitment to sponsor the CDF Shark Ecology and Conservation Program. The evaluates the status of various endemic shark populations and studies their movement patterns with the goal of developing effective management plans to ensure their long-term conservation.

Other notable achievements include the rehabilitation of the paiche fish population, releasing 2,100 taricaya turtles in the Peruvian Amazon, and supporting the Amazon Rescue Centre with the release of 25 manatees.