eXXpedition voyage (ocean plastic pollution)

I am incredibly happy to share that I will be one of 300 incredible women to join the eXXpedition around the world trip to raise awareness on the impacts of microplastics in the oceans. I will be joining leg 10 and will sail with eXXpedition from Raratonga (Cook islands) to Vava'u (Tonga) in April/May 2020.


The  voyage

"eXXpedition Round the World 2019-2021 is an all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission. Over 38,000 nautical miles and 30 voyage legs starting and ending in the United Kingdom, eXXpedition crews will explore plastics and toxics in our ocean, via four of the five oceanic gyres and the Arctic. Connected by a passion to protect our shared ocean, it will enable 300 women to go to sea as hands-on crew and experience first hand the challenges we face from single-use plastics, while contributing to cutting-edge scientific research and solutions-based thinking." - eXXpediton.com press release (http://exxpedition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/eXXpedition-RTW-Announcement-Press-Release-2018.pdf)


●  To collect ​scientific samples ​to feed into large-scale studies
●  To explore the scale of plastic pollution and the available ​solutions
●  To ​facilitate collaboration ​opportunities between the diverse crew of women – artists, scientists,

filmmakers, sustainability professionals, businesswomen, sailors and so much more
●  To empower the all-female crew to become more ​effective ocean ambassadors
●  To carry out ​outreach events​, where possible, to engage local communities and generate press coverage

● Support solutions-based science ​by contributing to world class scientific studies that are
urgently needed to inform up-stream solutions and close the loop on plastic waste on land
●  Challenge perceptions ​by​ ​using our platform to inform and educate so that people can better understand the real problem of micro-plastics and use that to shape actions and solutions
●  Create a community​ of change-makers and inspiring global ambassadors to tackle plastic pollution back on dry land. During their ocean experience participants discover the power of their individual roles in addressing the issues. Empowered by their first hand experience at sea we provide the tools, confidence and support they need to become effective leaders that can influence meaningful impact through their personal and professional communities.

For more about the 70-foot ketch making the round-the-world journey, please see: http://exxpedition.com/boat/

The problem - Marine microplastics - some facts

●  8 million tonnes of plastic waste​ find their way into the ocean each year (Jenna Jambeck)
●  Only ​9% of plastic is recycled​ globally (more info: ​https://goo.gl/aozz5D​)
●  We use over ​one million plastic bags every minute​ worldwide (see a live count of the plastic bags used worldwide here: ​https://goo.gl/MT4bEW​)
●  By 2050, there will be ​more plastic in the ocean than fish​ (source: ​https://goo.gl/a2rZG7​)
●  There are ​five subtropical gyres​, where plastic is collecting in the ocean (more info: https://goo.gl/4r2rNU​)
●  Most plastics, even when certified as biodegradable, ​do not breakdown in water​ (source:
●  Toxic chemicals in the ocean, such as pesticides, flame retardants and industrial waste, lead to
bioaccumulation of toxics​ in the food chain
●  Many ​chemicals found in plastic have been linked to disease​, and are found to be
contaminating our bodies through food and other plastic consumer products
●  Plastic debris also ​threatens marine and terrestrial wildlife​ through entanglement or by
clogging their digestive tracts.

For more information and info graphics you may also check the report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation under https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics

About myself


I hold a PhD in fish and fisheries biology. The main question that drives my career is how the ocean can sustainably help to feed the soon to be 10 billion human inhabitants of this world, while maintaining its own health and while battling global change. My own background is in research on climate change effects on commercial fish species. 

Increasingly, while still believing in the huge power and necessity of sound science, I feel that for some of the most pressing global problems, like pollution, climate change and food security, we already have most of the solutions, we are just not following the scientific advice. I therefore strongly believe that our own research is only worth anything, if we are prepared to communicate it to the public and to policy makers. I am proud to have worked for the European Commission and to have been chosen as a scientific observer to the United Nations on two occasions. I attended the UN Oceans Conference in NYC, the first time ever the oceans entered the global political landscape, and spoke about the negative effects of ocean acidification.


Marine plastics in particular is a huge problem with devastating long-term consequences, which actually has 'a simple solution' in that no plastic should ever reach the oceans in the first place. It often baffles me that there is even the need to prove that it is 'bad', that the idea of garbage floating around the oceans isn't enough to make all of us act. But obviously it is not. I am therefore excited to leave the desk for a few weeks next year and spend my annual vacation doing some activism and to broaden my own horizons on this particular topic and along the way to get to know some incredible, interesting women and to see even more of this fantastic blue planet.

I have some experience in sailing the Pacific. In 2010 I was part of the Sea Education Associations class S-230. I sailed from Hawai'i to San Francisco and it was the singly greatest experience of my life. I am beyond thrilled to see the South Pacific this time and to do it for a good reason!


I will be sharing updates before, during and after the voyage on my website martinastiasny.wordpress.com as well as contributing to the blog on eXXpedition.com. Additionally, the aim is to bring as much information back to our home communities, so I am planning on producing videos and blog entries along the way and intend on giving outreach lectures on the topic afterwards. If you have a platform that you would like me to contribute to, please feel free to get in touch.


Unfortunately this sort of endeavour is not cheap, as you might imagine. I am aiming to raise 7500 Euros to cover the full cost of this journey.
My crew contribution is 4000 Pounds towards the running of the boat as well as my own berth and food during the voyage. Flights to the South Pacific will be about 2000 Euros. The remainder are hotel costs before and after the sailing voyage and a four day trip to London in September in preparation, as well as some equipment that I need to buy. (A detailed budget before and exact numbers afterwards available upon request. Any leftover money will be donated to eXXpedition.)

Anybody who is contributing towards my goal with get a personal postcard from Vava'u as soon as I arrive, so please make sure, you send me a message with your address, as well as an e-mail, if you would like to get updates!


  • Melina Kourantidou 
    • kr500 
    • 4 mos
  • Annette und Edmund Müller 
    • kr1,500 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • kr500 
    • 6 mos
  • Jessica Louise Ray 
    • kr500 
    • 6 mos
  • Antonia Kolonko (Ziesche) 
    • kr500 
    • 6 mos


Martina Stiasny 
Bergen, 12, Norway
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