Douglas Couet paddle the whole length of Europe’s Mediterranean coast in a sea kayak carrying out scientific, educational and cultural assignments. Wilmotte, a 24 year old student who has previously solo kayaked across France and Couet, also 24, and an MSc Oceanography student, collected daily water samples to test for toxic organisms in the Mediterranean Sea.
They also used hydrophones to undertake an acoustic study of coastal waters, testing for noise pollution caused by marine traffic and building works. They have also been able to listen to the many marine mammals in the water around them.
The samples and recordings collected have been sent to a range of research institutions, including the Oceanographic Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer and will be used by scientists to further understanding of marine eco-systems. Norbert Schieren, general manager of Total Lubmarine, said:
“This has been a fantastic achievement and Total Lubmarine is delighted to have sponsored such an innovative endeavour. Louis and Douglas have shown great tenacity and resilience in finishing the 10,000km trip and the vital research work they have undertaken will help to preserve the Mediterranean’s precious marine ecosystem.” He added: “They have also been able to speak to hundreds of school children in Mediterranean coastal areas and explain the Mare Nostrum Project. I am certain their efforts will prove inspirational and ensure the children take an interest in the preservation of the Med, its ecosystems and creatures.”The adventurous pair visited schools in 12 and engaged pupils on the topics of toxic algae, the role of cetaceans in the Mediterranean and the effect of human noise pollution.