The Swatch Group AG

10/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2020 03:23

Oceana and Blancpain Announce Exclusive Partnership

Prestige Swiss watchmaker supports ocean conservation group's advocacy efforts to restore marine ecosystems. This three-year partnership includes an expedition to Mexico's Scorpion Reef, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Oceana, the largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation, has announced Blancpain as its exclusive watch partner, working together to further Oceana's campaigns to restore ocean abundance and Blancpain's commitment to ocean exploration and conservation.

For more than 65 years, since the 1953 launch of the world's first modern diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms, Blancpain has enjoyed historical links to the ocean. Through its Blancpain Ocean Commitment, the Manufacture has co-financed 19 major scientific expeditions, celebrated its role in doubling the surface of marine protected areas around the world, and presented several award-winning documentary films, underwater photography exhibitions and publications.

'We are grateful to Blancpain for the support,' said Andrew Sharpless, CEO of Oceana. 'Blancpain's backing will help our campaign teams win science-based management of our seas - including stopping overfishing, plastic pollution and loss of biodiversity - and add to the hundreds of policy victories already won and nearly 4 million square miles of ocean protected. Together, we can save the oceans and feed the world.'

As part of the partnership, Oceana and Blancpain will lead an expedition in the summer of 2021 to Arrecife Alacranes (Scorpion Reef), the largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico. It has been designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve and the Mexican government established it as a National Park, home to more than 500 species of fish and 34 species of coral. A recent study identified Arrecife Alacranes as a reef that is healthy and diverse enough to have a better chance at surviving the effects of climate change.

Despite the reef's current biodiversity and resiliency, there are very few rules in place to protect the habitat from destructive fishing. During the expedition, Oceana and Blancpain will document the reef and marine life present with underwater photos and video and cutting-edge science, including eDNA analysis and 3D photomosaic modeling. Oceana will then use these findings to campaign for the Mexican government to provide further protections for the reef.

'Blancpain is thrilled to partner with Oceana, whose work for ocean preservation and restoration is remarkable,' said Marc A. Hayek, President & CEO of Blancpain. 'I truly believe that protecting the underwater world depends upon an informed public. Raising awareness of these issues through support of scientific projects is an essential component of Blancpain Ocean Commitment. We are looking forward to working hand in hand with Oceana's team on the Arrecife Alacranes expedition, and to help emphasize the importance of strengthening protection for this major reef in the southern
Gulf of Mexico.'

'Arrecife Alacranes is a Mexican treasure that provides an ideal habitat for fish to feed and spawn, a key step to rebuilding marine ecosystems and ocean abundance,' said Renata Terrazas, vice president of Oceana in Mexico. 'With adequate protections put in place, we can ensure this beautiful reef thrives well into the future.'

Oceana announced its partnership with Blancpain at Oceana's annual New York Gala that raised more than $1.2 million for ocean conservation. As an Atlantic Ocean sponsor of the event, Blancpain donated their Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III watch for private auction.