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Q&A with Poppy from the Blue Marine Foundation

July 10th, 2017

Hi Poppy! Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’ve worked at the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) for the past two and a half years. My role is fairly broad: I organise BLUE’s events, including our London to Monaco Cycle, manage our Join BLUE membership scheme, oversee our social media accounts, marketing and communications. I have a passion for wildlife and conservation and my favourite sea creature is the Vaquita dolphin – there are only 60 left in the wild, making them the most endangered cetacean (single group of marine mammals) in the world, which makes me terribly sad.

For those of us who don’t know, tell us a little bit about what the Blue Marine Foundation does.

Blue Marine Foundation (Blue) exists to combat over-fishing and the destruction of biodiversity through the creation of large-scale marine reserves and the promotion of sustainable fishing. Blue’s aim is to put at least 10% of ocean under protection by 2020, with a long-term aim of 30% protected.

Over-fishing is a major food security issue and has devastating consequences for the biodiversity of our planet. Around 90% of global fish stocks are fully or over-exploited and around 90% of large fish are gone. The consequences are far-reaching for all mankind, not only for the future of food for a growing global population, but because healthy oceans absorb half the CO2 we produce.

BLUE is a small team, consisting of 10 employees all of whom are extremely dedicated and have a great passion for the oceans.

What did you think when Simon first became a celebrity ambassador for the Foundation?

We were so thrilled when Simon became an ambassador for BLUE. Chris Gorell Barnes, BLUE’s co-founder met Simon and his family while giving a presentation about BLUE and The End of the Line at Les Voiles de St-Tropez, an annual sailing event. After telling him about BLUE and our work, Simon agreed to become an ambassador. Marine conservation, new wave and synthpop are not an obvious combination but it works!

Obviously Simon has a strong history with sailing and the water – were you surprised by his passion on the topic?

No, I don’t think we were surprised given Simon’s adventures at sea but we were certainly delighted that his experiences have led to this passion for the oceans and the life that they support. Simon really ‘digs-in’ for BLUE – more than most, so it’s easy to tell that he cares a lot about the cause.

OK, tell the whole truth – Duran Duran fan?

Yes, we’re all big Duran Duran fans at BLUE and often listen to their music in the office. I think the biggest fan is Rory, BLUE’s project manager. Apparently, Rory and his friend sailed the whole way across the Pacific in their small sailing boat armed with blue and cream suits, face paint and a CD just so that they could re-enact the Rio video! By the time they had reached Tahiti (several months later and through several storms), the suits had turned mouldy and the face paint had melted – but they still put on Rio, pulled up the sails and got the cocktails out…coolest boys in the Pacific (in their own minds!)

If you’re interested in learning more about BLUE and their the cycle ride for charity in September, please visit their website here. You can also follow them on social media to keep up to date with the latest news:

Twitter @Bluemarinef
Facebook @Bluemarinef
Instagram @Bluemarinefoundation

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Simon Le Bon & Chris Gorell Barnes' interview at Top 100 Event 2016 from Blue Marine Foundation on Vimeo.