AECO Adds Environmental Agent

Sarah Auffret

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) announced it has hired Sarah Auffret as environmental agent, a new role for the Svalbard-based group.

She has been tasked with leading AECO’s efforts to combat marine plastic pollution. As part of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, AECO will work to significantly cut back on single-use plastics on polar expedition cruise vessels, as well as enhance cruise passengers' involvement in regular beach cleanups, according to a press release. 

Auffret, who has a background as a G Adventures expedition leader on cruises in Svalbard, East Greenland and the Antarctic Peninsula and as base leader of Port Lockroy, was selected from a pool of highly qualified candidates.

She has a long-standing passion for environmental issues and is well acquainted with the logistics of beach cleanup after initiating a coastal cleanup movement in Naruto, Japan in 2010.

Auffret will work from Tromsø but will also have work periods in Svalbard. The project position was been made possible by funding from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund and the Norwegian Environmental Directorate (Miljødirektoratet), who have granted a total of NOK 2.4 million to AECO’s #CleanSeas initiatives.

"Marine plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. The expedition cruise industry can make a big contribution in the fight to combat marine plastic litter and we are delighted to have Sarah on board to lead these efforts," AECO said, in a prepared statement. 

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