Fabrice Amedeo: Back to Pursuing His Commitment to Ocean Preservation
Installed in September aboard his IMOCA, the oceanographic recorder capable of measuring ocean CO2 content, salinity, and temperature successfully took its first measurements during the Transat Jacques Vabres 2019. This year, following a sedentary time related to the health crisis, Fabrice Amedeo decided to go the extra mile in saving the environment.
Fabrice Amedeo’s Lockdown: Sedentary Time with Family, in Preparation for Vendée Globe, and New Projects
Fabrice Amedeo spent his lockdown in La Trinité-Sur-Mer surrounded by family.
Talking about this, the mariner says:
“I got introduced to the confinement of the Vendée Globe: 103 days in the space of a few square feet […]. There is a psychological difficulty living in a universe that is always in motion. From the human and the psychological standpoints, this is an ordeal.” “When you are going around the world and if you like solitude and wide open spaces, this can quickly make you asocial when you get back to solid ground. It is inevitable. When you get back, you have more trouble going to parties or dinners with 25 people, all talking. But time always does its job. In both directions. When you leave land, it is not easy right away. You have to find your rhythm and re-learn certain things. You slow down.”
The isolation that Fabrice Amedeo went through at home with his wife and three daughters enabled him to recharge his batteries and to spend quality time with his family. An opportunity to re-energize before his departure scheduled for November 8. In effect, Fabrice Amedeo would be taking off on his second Vendée Globe. A marathon of about 100 days at sea, alone, which could be thought of as isolation.
“There will be a before and an after”, Fabrice Amedeo continues to work in partnership with Onet to stop plastic pollution of the oceans.
His isolation gave him an opportunity to observe the impact human activity is having on the ecosystem. After this assessment, Fabrice Amedeo would like to expand data collection. This year, the skipper decided to go further by adding a module capable of collecting microplastics in all the seas of the world. An ambitious project undertaken in partnership with IFREMER, the University of Bordeaux, the CNRS, and IRD.
His caisson will include 3 filters to collect microplastics* of different sizes all though the race. Every day, weather permitting, the mariner will spend some ten minutes changing filters that he would have to keep on board. A real challenge but also a need as far as he is concerned:
“the manipulations related to microplastics measurements are the most time-consuming and uncomfortable in the research program that we have rolled out, but the matter of plastic contamination of the oceans is so urgent that I would not hesitate even for a second. Even if I have to sacrifice a little performance to gain a research benefit, this will be time gained for the future.”
The installation of this new module in the oceanographic recorder will take place in May. The first tests are scheduled this summer during a race that is expected to replace Transat New York – Vendée, initially expected to happen in June.
* plastic particles smaller than 5 mm.
Fabrice Amedeo Questioned in Parliamentary Study of Plastic Pollution
Because of his ambitious oceanographic project in preparation for the Vendée Globe, Fabrice Amedeo was questioned this Thursday, May 14, by Philippe Bolo, Member of Parliament from Maine-et-Loire, and Angèle Préville, Senator from Lot, co-chairs of an investigation on plastic pollution for the OPECST (Parliamentary Office for Scientific and Technological Assessment). The objective of the meeting was to take the testimony of the skipper for Newrest – Art & Fenêtres regarding plastic pollution at sea and to present the oceanographic recorder installed on board his IMOCA 60 monohull.
The OPECST, created to assist members of parliament and the government in understanding and making decisions on matters of science and technology, launched a study program on plastic pollution on September 11 this year. It targets the origins of plastic pollution, its various forms, impacts, and effects as well as technology and research solutions that could mitigate it. Actors from all the areas involved, i. e. currently over 278 persons, including researchers, journalists, institutions, economic actors, and NGOs, have been questioned on the subject. Fabrice Amedeo gave testimony on plastic pollution of the oceans together with mariner and European Parliament Member Catherine Chabaud.
“ We would like to hear from Fabrice Amedeo because he has experience as a sailor and can testify on the subject of marine pollution,” explains Philippe Bolo. But also because he is part of a great number of solutions and has knowledge having put his sports event to use for science to be able to go take samples in areas where no one goes.”
This hearing is a nice acknowledgment of all the work put in to make his wanderings useful to science.
“I am thrilled that our oceanographic project that is growing this year thanks to my partners Art de Fenêtres, Eléphant Bleu, and Onet and thanks to researchers giving us support, is attracting so much attention,” he commented.
The discussion with Member of Parliament Philippe Bolo and Senator Angèle Préville will be going on until this fall to develop new elements, especially following the rehearsal race for the Vendée Globe that is supposed to happen this summer.
“The microplastics Fabrice is going to collect at sea will provide a reason to expand research and will tell a story that will help gain better insight into the story of plastic pollution. The first feedback and the first conclusions by researchers could be included in a report that we are going to present next fall and that will bring to light recommendations to help resolve this matter of plastic pollution,” concluded Philippe Bolo.
Find the latest article from Ouest-France, France’s No. 1 daily circulation-wise: Vendée Globe. Fabrice Amedeo Putting the Race in the Service of Science