Meet the ocean heroes keeping the Balearic waters brilliantly blue.
At present, there are 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, a mass which would be larger than France and Spain combined. This a staggering statistic which needs to be tackled, and thankfully, Ibiza has its very own ocean heroes.
Following a rescue encounter with an endangered turtle trapped by plastic, Dutch sailors Ed and Joke started the iBi Foundation to protect the waters and marine wildlife around the White Isle. Throughout the year they committed to ridding the ocean of waste and garbage surrounding the Balearic islands, utilising their eco-friendly catamaran in the cleanup process.
Discover Ibiza are committed to supporting causes which benefit the island, so we took a day trip to see the iBi boat in action and find out more about the foundation.
Departing from San Antonio, I was told by Captain Lewis that they’d recently located to this side of the island, due to lack of mooring space in Marina Botafoch. This has presented new challenges for the organisation as they now require funds more than ever to pay for harbouring costs in the bay. Donations and a loyal group of volunteers have kept the boat going, making sure that the boat sails five days a week.
The vessel itself is solar-powered, utilising the abundance of sunlight during summer to provide energy to the engines. Soon as we hit the open ocean, the sailing canvas was risen, allowing the wind to take over the work.
Sailing north up the island’s coastline, we passed many grand natural monuments of the Ibiza, including Las Puertas del Cielo (The Gate to Heaven). It’s easy to understand why iBi do what they do when faced with breathtaking landscape views like this. The White Isle most definitely deserves our care and attention.
Once we reached our plastic hunting ground of Cala d’albarca, we dropped the onboard nets. Acting like a big underwater scoop as the boat sailed along, we picked up large pieces of nailed boat wood and beer cans – dangerous items for the local sealife.
This method is combined with volunteers using handheld fishing nets, litter picking stray pieces of plastic as the float by. Captain Lewis told me that on a good day, they can fill up to five bags in one journey.
It was clear to us that following this trip that organisations like the iBi Foundation are a complete necessity on Ibiza. Their efforts are ones that will help sustain the natural beauty of the island and preserve it for generations in the future.
To keep the foundation on the seas, they rely on regular donations, big or small every little helps towards the cause. If you happen to be on Ibiza and wish to volunteer in the cleanup project, head to ibifoundation.nl to find out how you can help.