Ari Huusela and the John Nurminen Foundation raise awareness of the Baltic Sea on the seas of the world

The Imoca community of professional sailors, made famous by its legendary solo ocean sailing races, is strongly committed to improving the wellbeing of the planet. For Ari Huusela, the first Imoca skipper from the Nordic countries, combining the cause of the Baltic Sea with the other marine protection themes of the community is an extremely valuable cause which he now promotes in cooperation with the John Nurminen Foundation.

In solo ocean sailing races, the playing field we move on is at risk. On their journeys, seafarers in many ways bear witness to the consequences of human actions. The Imoca community is active in its work to reduce the discharge load of the sea, spreading awareness of environmental impacts. Skippers are one route through which important information can be disseminated to the public at large.

“My home sea, the Baltic Sea, is an amazing but at the same time, in many ways, a demanding waterway. It is also a practical example of achievements reached within a single marine area. I want to participate in spreading knowledge of the lessons learned and of the innovations that have been developed also to larger marine areas, and the John Nurminen Foundation has joined me in the work, in the role of an expert”, explains Ari Huusela from Le Havre, the town where his next competition, i.e. the transatlantic Transat Jacques Vabre race will start on Sunday, 27 October.

One of the most serious environmental problems faced by the Baltic Sea is eutrophication, which is caused by excessive phosphorus and nitrogen loads to the sea. Since the peak levels of the 1980s, the Baltic Sea area has been successful in reducing the phosphorus discharges originating on land by more than 50%, and nitrogen discharges by 40%. Phosphorus, which is highly useful to algae, has been successfully reduced by up to as much as 75% in only 10 years.

“These accomplishments are in a way a world record of marine protection. The Baltic Sea can serve as an example of efficient and well-targeted measures that reduce discharges. The sea we live by is one of the most researched seas of the world – high-quality marine research has been conducted in the area for more than 100 years. This is why the processes of this sea are known far better than those of many other marine areas”, explains Marjukka Porvari, Director of the John Nurminen Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects.

The Baltic Sea is shallow, closed-up and has relatively few species, and as such, it is quick to react to climate change. Research conducted on the Baltic Sea can be adapted on a global scale to the oceans, where processes are slower.

‘We can share valuable lessons. It is truly great that Huusela and his team help us spread the word on marine protection’, says Porvari.

Ari Huusela’s selected marine protection tips:

  1. Buy sustainable, repairable and recyclable machinery and equipment, and use them to the end of their life cycle.
  2. To avoid oil leaks, take good care of your boat engine and of your boat in general.
  3. Sort your waste correctly and make compost.
  4. Always turn off unnecessary electronic equipment when you leave a room.
  5. Share research-related news items on the Baltic Sea in social media.

More protection tips

Further information:

Imoca Oceans Programme

Marjukka Porvari
Director, John Nurminen Foundation Clean Baltic Sea projects
Tel. +358 41 549 1535

Ari Huusela
Tel. +358 456745488
Niina Riihelä, communications
Tel. +358 40 728 1548

John Nurminen Foundation – Baltic Sea protection and marine culture
Founded in 1992, the purpose of the John Nurminen Foundation is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage to future generations. The Foundation has been awarded for its work as a communicator of information and producer of marine content. The goal of the Foundation’s Clean Baltic Sea projects is to improve the condition of the Baltic Sea with tangible measures that will reduce the load and environmental risks directed at the sea. Our work is steered by measurable results and impact. www.johnnurmisensaatio.fi 

Ari Huusela