Pete's goal in beginning the Earthrace story back in 2005, was to help create global awareness of the need for renewable fuels and to promote sustainable living. He believed that by building an amazing boat and taking on the enormous challenge of trying to break a world record that had stood for ten years, the media interest alone would help him achieve his goal.
After breaking the world record, Pete continued his environmental mission, joining an anti-whaling activist organisation and going with them and his boat to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 2009-2010 to disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet.
In 2011, Pete set up a new organisation, Earthrace Conservation (ECO), that is already becoming a powerful force in marine conservation around the world. www.facebook.com/earthrace
first mission for earthrace conservation
Shocked by finding out that up to 15,000 vulnerable and endangered sea turtles are killed in Trinidad and Tobago each year during a legal five month hunting season, Earthrace Conservation joined forces with local activist group, the Trini Eco Warriors, with a goal of encouraging strong measures to put an end to the practice.
The Trini Eco Warriors, Kyle De Lima, Marc de Verteuil and Stephen Broadbridge, together with Bethune, met this week in Trinidad with Mr Vasant Bharath, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Director of Fisheries, Christine-a-Shing, together with four Government advisors.
During the meeting with the Ministers, Mr Bharath made a commitment to present a law protecting all turtle species year round in Trinidad to the Cabinet, and would see it passed into law before the end of this year. Rumours in Trinidad and Tobago are suggesting that the law may be presented to Parliament as early as this week.
Bethune and the Trini Eco Warriors took with them a 110lb live green sea turtle rescued from a local beach, where it had been lying on his back in the sun waiting to be sold for around US $1.5 per lb. Bethune said, “Sometimes these turtles are left upside down for weeks at a time, waiting to die. We took the Ministers and the advisors down to see the turtle and they looked very shocked. Obviously the Government are aware of the hunting season, but I don’t think they’ve ever bothered to investigate or go and see for themselves what long, drawn out agony the ‘hunting’ really involves for the turtles.”
Many other sea turtles are killed outside the hunting season because of by-catch despite laws designed to make medium and large sized trawlers use turtle exclusion devices. Earthrace and the Trini Eco Warriors will continue working with the Government and fisheries agencies to ensure these laws are more stringently followed, and that those flaunting them are severely punished.
Things you can do Find out what you can do at home, at school and at work. We did our bit by running the project as a carbon neutral enterprise, and using 100% biofuel on our world record attempts and world tours. But everyone can do something...and it doesn't have to be dull or hard work!
Useful links If you know of a website that could educate other people about renewable fuels, leading sustainable lives, or other climate change and conservation issues, please let us know by sending the links to us by email
SGC Energia - official fuel sponsor 2008
SGC Energia (SGCE) based in
SGCE CEO, Vianney Valès, said: “Earthrace was a really exciting project and an incredible hi-tech boat, and we were delighted to help by donating biodiesel for the Round the World Speed Record. She rapidly became the highest-profile powerboat in the world, and our association helped to advance and create greater global awareness of the Emissions Free Liquid Fuels industry.”
To find out more about SGC Energia, contact Rosa Fernandez