For five years, CCAMLR (Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources), the body that oversees the protection of Antarctic waters, struggled to create a Marine Protected Area in the fragile Ross Sea.

After completing the world's southernmost swim in the Ross Sea, Lewis Pugh made numerous visits to Moscow, walking alone into the Kremlin to call on Russia to support the creation of the MPA. Eventually, they agreed.

In December 2017, one of the world’s largest protected wilderness areas on land or water, the 1.5 million km² Ross Sea MPA, came into effect.

This massive success brought with it a sobering realisation: many more MPAs were urgently needed in other Antarctic seas, and across the oceans of the world, to protect our planet’s waters from overfishing, pollution and climate change.

The Lewis Pugh Foundation was created in 2016 to ensure that this happens. To date, we have been instrumental in the protection of over 2 million km² of ocean.