Date of award: 11.02.2019.
White Flag awarded by: Kristijan Curavić, OACM President
On February 11th, 2019, White Flag has been awarded to Børge Ousland for Manshausen island in Norway.
Polar explorer Børge Ousland is the owner of Manshausen Island. With solo expeditions to both the South and the North Pole as well as solo crossings of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, Mr. Ousland has seen and witnessed the alarming changes in nature affected by human irresponsible behavior. He started the initiative together with WhiteFlag International and Kristijan Curavić, OACM President and former freediving champion, to clean Manshausen Island by totally removing the plastic and other nondegradable waste found on the sea bottom around the island.
White Flag diving inspectors reviewed the area and took photos and video footage during the cleaning operations. White Flag divers were cleaning for 4 days and have extracted around 300 kilograms of marine waste around Manshausen. By setting an example, Mr. Ousland participated in scuba activities beneath the surface, together with Mr. Curavić. With this cleaning, Manshausen Island became the first plastic-free ocean island in Scandinavia, and the first White Flag certified macro area (the complete marine area around the whole island has been entirely inspected and cleaned from plastic), which will be maintained and cleaned twice a year.
The next challenge for WhiteFlag International will be to raise another White Flag in the Arctic – this time at Svalbard, Longyearbyen - Norwegian archipelago between the Norwegian mainland and the Polar Ocean. This is currently an ongoing process.