What is The Jimmy Ocean Project and why does it matter?
The Californian based 5 Gyres Institute have estimated, based on years of oceanic research that there are 5.25 trillion individual pieces of plastic in our oceans today; when I was sailing as a child, I would estimate that there were none. We have had an Iron Age and a Bronze Age and now we have a Plastic Age and this Plastic Age will be deadly unless we change our behaviour – plastic lasts for ever, iron rusts. In the ocean, plastic biodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces and enters the food chain. Toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of plastic, also as plastic passes through the sewers, streams and rivers on the way to the sea it attracts other toxins. This toxic plastic is being eaten by microscopic zooplankton, and, the toxicity multiplied many times over, as it rises up the food chain to the largest marine mammals, whales. …so this is why it matters. Is there a magic answer to the ocean plastic pollution problem? In the series of children's books that I have written, there is a magic answer. In the world away from the fictional characters of Jimmy and Bibi Ocean, not to forget the mermaids, there is not one yet! I build my first sea going craft when I was thirteen and wrote my first book about pirates when I was nine, neither amounted to much except that they led to a lifetime involvement with the sea; to building and sailing dugout canoes in the Indian Ocean, building and sailing a Viking longboat in the Norwegian Arctic to sailing aboard my own square rigger for film work in Greenland – windsurfing there too amongst the bergs. What did I learn? I learnt to fall in love. I learnt to fall in love with the sea. I learnt to love our amazing planet, two thirds of which is covered by oceans.

The Jimmy Ocean Project is reality turned into fiction and fiction that can be turned back into reality.We have put enormous quantities of plastic into our oceans but we can remove it and we can re-use it. Throughout the world there are very many brilliant universities, marine institutions as well as millions of ordinary people both aware of this problems and also dealing with it in a variety of ways – but there are also billions worldwide that are not aware of it being a problem at all.

The Jimmy Ocean Project seeks to inspire the very young through story telling, through puzzle making, and board game playing – and possibly, just possibly one of those inspired children, one of those unaware billions, will become a scientist and discover THE magic solution to ocean pollution – and Jimmy and Bibi, made by the mermaids out of beach plastic garbage will forever be in their memories, and to always remind them to love and to care for our oceans. You might laugh at my romanticism for the oceans but then I have lain in the bowsprit netting of a square rigger plunging in and out of the sparkling swell, out in the 'Far Ocean,' and I really have talked to dolphins.
My connections with the sea run deep, I've owned ocean-going square riggers, sailed dhows, Viking longboats and even dugout canoes, I've stroked a sperm whale, talked to dolphins and hugged a shark, made films in the East Greenland ice, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Norwegian Arctic.
David Raine, Jimmy Ocean Project Creator
Brigantine Soren Larsen - close hauled, North Atlantic.
"Later in the day that I took this photo a school of thirty dolphins arrived. I lay in the bowsprit netting imitating the high pitched sounds that they made and as we plunged down they would jump up, each in turn, within touching distance, as if each wanted to have a good old mid-ocean gossip."
Barque Kaskelot, Sermilik Fjord, East Greenland, on location for filming 'Last Place on Earth, Central TV.'