The surface of Planet Earth is around 70% water, over 96% of which is salt water. While this vast area is mostly interconnected, it is broken up into large and small bodies by the seven continents and other landmasses. The largest of these bodies are known as the Great Oceans.

This University of Earth episode focuses on the pollutants that have infested the yachts of Cape Town and many other coastal regions.

Eighty percent of pollution to the marine environment comes from the land. One of the biggest sources is called nonpoint source pollution, which occurs as a result of runoff. Nonpoint source pollution includes many small sources, like septic tanks, cars, trucks, and boats, plus larger sources, such as farms, ranches, and forest areas. Millions of motor vehicle engines drop small amounts of oil each day onto roads and parking lots. Much of this, too, makes its way to the sea.

This video sees the UOE group visit the small town of Kalk bay to see how pollution has affected the ecosystem there and we speak to yacht worker Nicola topping who gives us some first-hand information from her own experience. Nicola paints a wonderful picture as to who owns the yachts of the seas and we start to really understand the background information about them. Moreover we learn from the professional purser just how much pollution each mega yacht emits into the sea on a daily basis and why this is a problem that must be addressed. We learn that despite it being illegal, many yachts continue to discharge plastic and other sorts of waste into the sea and this can be very difficult to penalise.

Be sure to watch this episode if you have any interest in yachts and pollution at sea but also to get an idea about the kind of people that go on yachts and what they get up to on-board. As we are told by the purser, the quality of food and activities on board are very high and sometimes the crew get to enjoy the food and other things as well. We learn about the STCW course and how that qualifies you to join the super yacht industry. Be sure not to miss this video.


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By Alex Mitchison

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