Fundraising

Each rider is set a fundraising target depending on which route they sign up to. Once signed up, each rider will receive a fundraising pack including tips and advice on how to fundraise. BLUE will offer support wherever possible.

FIRST DAY

Tuesday 17 September

LONDON TO PORTSMOUTH

SIX DAY

19-24 September

SANTANDER TO MONACO

EIGHT DAY

17-24 September

LONDON TO MONACO

LAST DAY

Tuesday 24 September

GRASSE TO MONACO

PROJECTS 2019

Funds raised from riders and sponsorship will support BLUE’s overall mission of protecting 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030.  This is done by supporting a number of selected large scale conservation projects around the world.

ASCENSION – something old

The peak of a giant, undersea volcano forming part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Ascension Island is an isolated and exceptional British overseas territory. The upwellings and sea mounts in its waters are highly productive, harbouring huge and rare fish. Until 2013, Ascension’s 440,000 square kilometre exclusive economic zone was being plundered by a long-line tuna fleet which was associated with human rights abuses, shark finning and high levels of by-catch. In January 2016, BLUE helped secure the closure of 52.6 per cent of Ascension’s waters to fishing. In 2019 BLUE is on the brink of securing 100 per cent of Ascension’s waters – it would be the largest no-take zone in the Atlantic. But the people of Ascension, who each year do their own version of London to Monaco, would love to know that they have the continued support of London to Monaco riders for vital conservation initiatives on this remote island.

CYPRUS – something new

Small-scale fisheries – with their low impact gear and strong community ties – dominate the Mediterranean with over 80 per cent of the fishing fleet, yet accounting for only 24 per cent of fish caught. BLUE seeks to strengthen artisanal fishers by adapting the principles of the Lyme Bay model of sustainable fishing to Mediterranean fishing communities. In Cyprus, fishermen and women are running out of fish. Overfishing, combined with climate change, a lack of marine protection and an influx of invasive species is a combination that will see the extinction of artisanal fishers in Cyprus unless BLUE intervenes. BLUE is working with fishing communities around the UK Sovereign bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia to create healthy marine reserves, resilient to climate change, that will restore fish stocks and support sustainable fishing.

AZERBAIJAN – something borrowed

Sturgeon are the most critically endangered group of species on the planet. These prehistoric fish can live for over 100 years and grow larger than Great white sharks. They were once a common sight in the estuaries and rivers of Azerbaijan as they made their way up river to lay their precious eggs, known to us as caviar. They were often accompanied by the great Caspian salmon. However, river dams, pollution, overfishing and the growing demand for caviar have all led to the demise of these Caspian giants. In 2018, BLUE saw the designation of the first marine protected area (MPA) in the Caspian Sea and a countrywide ban on deadly gillnets from rivers. The next steps are to provide alternative livelihoods for local ‘poaching’ communities, restore river habitats, reintroduce healthy fish to rivers and strengthen river and marine protection. This is the last chance to ensure the survival of some of the rarest fish on earth.

NAMIBIA – something BLUE

With an area of 10,000 square kilometres, the Namibian Islands’ Marine Protected Area (NIMPA) is Africa’s second largest marine reserve. The area boasts the highest variety of habitats found anywhere along the coast, including lagoons, wetlands, salt pans, rocky shores, reefs, sandy beaches, kelp beds and several small islands. These islands are are used as spawning grounds for the entire Namibian breeding population of Cape gannets and almost all of Namibia’s endangered African penguins. The NIMPA is also home to endemic dolphins, six different species of whale and almost 70 per cent of the global population of Cape fur seals. It is an area of outstanding marine biodiversity. However, it is currently under threat from activities like diamond mining, overfishing, pollution, port development, untested phosphate extraction and, disturbingly, live marine mammal harvesting. With help and guidance from BLUE’s our local partners will ensure that this incredible area is managed sustainably and that it receives the protection it so badly needs.

PATAGONIA – something BLUE

Since 2015, BLUE has been gathering evidence to justify the designation of a vast marine protected area (MPA) in the Gulf of Peñas in Chilean Patagonia. This still pristine wilderness is a feeding ground for huge numbers of baleen whales. BLUE’s research vessel was the first to discover the world’s largest mass mortality of Sei whales in 2016 and has been monitoring strandings and behaviour ever since. The gulf is also at the southern end of the spread of destructive salmon farming and could be a strategic buffer to prevent further encroachment. Ahead of COP 25 in Chile in November 2019, BLUE is seeking to build a strong case for the protection of the entire gulf and adjoining fjord systems. The MPA will help protect the whales and incredible biodiversity of the Gulf.

IMPACT SO FAR…

Due to the London to Monaco’s huge success BLUE has been able to achieve more than we ever thought possible.

On Ascension we have been able to support a range of conservation initiatives carried out by the Ascension Island Conservation Department. We have provided equipment such as binoculars and microscopes for Ascension’s only school. The children wrote, saying: ‘thank you for showing us just how special Ascension really is.’ We have funded the turtle interns who spend months on the island ensuring that baby turtles survive in this major green turtle nesting site. And we have supported Ascension’s Conservation Department in many aspects of their work, from shark tagging to restoration of the trails on Green Mountain, to protecting endemic ferns. All this helps with our aim of establishing Ascension as a hub of conservation excellence in the middle of what could be the largest marine protected area in the Atlantic.

In the Aeolian Islands BLUE is creating the largest marine protected area of its kind in Italy.
Local fishermen have come together to agree to sustainable fishing methods and research teams are mapping the marine environment from shallow seagrass meadows to unexplored underwater volcanoes, 1000 metres below the surface. BLUE has distributed information brochures throughout the archipelago and produced the first ever 360-degree underwater Aeolian film. Ghost nets are being removed and recycled, plastics collected and compressed, and thousands of reusable ‘More Fish – Less Plastic’ bags are replacing single-use shopping bags. BLUE’s intervention has already improved the sustainability of these incredible volcanic islands. Once designated, the marine protected area will restore and protect the seas around them.

In the Maldives BLUE is working to protect grouper, an important predatory coral reef fish, which is exported to Asia where it is highly valued for food. BLUE has been the first to verify and map grouper spawning aggregation sites in the Maldives. Identifying the locations of breeding grounds is the first step towards getting these sites protected. Thanks to BLUE’s extensive outreach programme, the grouper fishermen in the Maldives now recognise the need for fisheries management and want to protect grouper spawning aggregations. BLUE is currently in the process of writing management recommendations for the government. With the help of London to Monaco funding we will be able to develop management plans for these sites and funds will help support the implementation of new fisheries policies. Funding will also be used to develop new, larger scale initiatives for the Maldives following on from the success of the project.


In the Solent we are making good progress with our project to reintroduce millions of oysters into this busy waterway.Oysters were once abundant in the Solent, helping to keep the water clean and providing food and habitat for countless other species. Thanks to London to Monaco funding, we have been able to suspend more broodstock oysters in cages under marinas. An astonishing 90 different species have been found living in or around the cages. The school children who visit the project find it a fascinating day out and 130 local volunteers have been involved. Funding will also provide vital water analysis equipment for the project.

In Lyme Bay, BLUE has developed a win-win model that benefits both the marine environment and small-scale fishermen who are seeing higher prices for adhering to a set of voluntary codes of conduct for low-impact, responsible fishing. Since 2008, as a combined result of the ban on mobile gear and the collaborative approach introduced by BLUE, there has been a four-fold increase in flora and fauna reef species, a quadrupling of juvenile lobsters, a doubling of scallop landings and a quadrupling of flatfish catches. The model is now in its 7th year and has generated interest from other fisheries around the UK as well as further afield, placing it at the forefront of delivering a best-practice approach. The Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve is the UK flagship for marine protected areas and BLUE is confident that the Reserve can be used as a template for sustainable fishing in the UK and in other regions including the Mediterranean.

To learn more about BLUE’s work and impact in these areas since the ride:

Read BLUE’s 2018 Review
Watch About Blue film