One of the conversations I still never tire of having with professionals in the industry is how yachting has grown and developed in such a magnificent and swift fashion over the past twenty years. From its infancy when walking the docks and word-of-mouth was the only way to get a job onboard or to sell a product, to the industry’s place today prospering as a professional niche market in the luxury sector, perhaps no other business aside from telecommunications has developed so incredibly over past few decades. And one of the benefits coming out of our developing sector is the windfall of companies, associations, and organizations that are deciding to take concrete and structured actions towards protecting the world’s waters and delicate marine environment which are at the heart of our business and the lifestyle we sell. Looking back at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show and observing what has developed out of an inherent love of the water, it’s mindboggling to look at the development that has happened (and those of you who were at MYS at the turn of the millennium know what I mean). So it is with great encouragement and enthusiasm that we see so many initiatives now contributing to the protection of our livelihood.
There are a few companies that have been in it for the long haul. And this year The Superyacht Group, behind a host of well-known publications, global industry forums, and perhaps best known for the celebrated The Superyacht Annual Report, which has reached biblical-like status for those producing data analysis sales pitches one PowerPoint presentation at a time, is celebrating 25 years of business. This year for their landmark anniversary, we half expected one of their fabulous parties they are known to put on, but we were actually delighted to see that they won’t be sending out invitations anytime soon.
This year to mark their milestone, they have decided instead to give back to the community that has given so much. During their 25-week campaign (which began the 25th of September), they will be running initiatives to support the delicate marine environment that is central to all of our work. From beach cleanups, to dedicated media coverage highlighting key environmental issues, the Superyacht Group will also be actively raising funds for two key charity organizations supporting marine conservancy, namely The Ocean Agency and the Marine Conservation Society. The challenge is on with their 25th Anniversary Ocean Chari-Tee Campaign. For £25 (yes there is a theme going on here) you can purchase one of their Chari-Tee Shirts, with all the profits going to these charities.
While an initiative like this from one company surely won’t save the planet or change the world, we hope that this action, by one company, will generate a windfall of support in the industry for marine-based planetary issues. Rising sea levels, plastic waste, coral bleaching, and overfishing have become commonplace, just ask any captain today about the pollution and contamination they see each and every day cruising the world’s waters. This is, after all, our marketplace, our storefront, and also the playground, which our industry relies upon for its livelihood. Just think about what would happen if the 30,000 or so captains, crew, owners, shipyard technicians, brokers, attorneys, and service providers in our industry started to actively give back?
We are putting forward their challenge and would like to encourage everyone in the industry to do their part. Start here by simply buying a t-shirt and then dedicate time to evaluating other causes you can to support this year; there are so many worthy organizations out there in need of your assistance. Volunteer some time if you can, put your money where your mouth is, and let’s do it before it is too late. The waters are the lifeblood of all of our businesses and kudos to The Superyacht Group for leading the charge in honour of their 25th year!