Blue Whale boat - a ship that wants to clean up our oceans

Greenocratic Organization logoDuring World Cleanup Conference 2012 numerous ideas and practical solutions were presented aimed at making the world a cleaner place. One of the most innovative and fascinating solutions came from Lebanon, and is not aimet at targeting the waste on land, but in the Oceans. Blue Whale - a waste cleaning ship developed by Lebanon activists from Greenocratic Organization. This is an automatic ship to clean up our oceans from the waste that is swimming around. Waste, that is not just threatening the life in oceans, but also our whole life on this planet.

How do the boats look like?

The boats can either be 3, 5 or 8 meters long. "It is a simple catamaran variation design, with a net cage fitted in the front between the 2 main hulls for effective and concentrated clean up and screening of floating pollutives. But our catamaran most notable variation is the existence of a middle hull containing fuel tanks and the mechanics controlling the boat size," described Mr. Antoine el Hajj, the initiator of the Blue Whale, boats design elements.

However, one of the most fascinating aspects of the boats design is the ability to widen its middle space. "Through separating its 2 hulls through a specific mechanic system located in the middle hull, Blue Whale will be able to open its mouth to double, triple or even more its original size," emphasized Mr. Hajj. According to him there are numerous marine pollutions that the Blue Whale can provide help with, among which perhaps the most pressing are: oil spills, garbage, organic waste, plastic waste, living organisms infestations, kelps and duckweed infestations.

Mr. Hajj, man who came up with the idea of a water cleaning boat, said the prototype is 90% ready and the first test run should take place already in couple of week’s time.   The prototype took about 2 months to build and Mr. Hajj, who also owns a yacht manufacturing company, was a key player in the prototype building process as he built the novelty parts in the boat. Mr. Hajj paid for the prototype himself; however, in order to build the actual ships he is still in search for sponsors and investors.  When everything goes well with the test run, the boats will be made in bigger quantities for other countries as well. The cost will vary from 15 to 45 000 dollars depending on the boat size. However, this price is only for the manufacturing and does not include the price of engines etc.

How was this idea born?

"It was last June or July, I was walking on Beirut Corniche and I saw floating garbage and said to myself there should be a solution, maybe there are boats that clean up this mess. However, when I went back to my office and did some research I realized there was none," describes Mr. Hajj the moment it first dawned upon him that something has to be done about water pollution. Blue Whale project was not his first idea in the matter; however, it is the most promising one.

Cleaning up Lebanese waters is a big project; however, the Blue Whales will most definitely be a big step towards the bigger goal. "Many waste dumps are on the shoreline, there are mountains of garbage there, many hundreds of feet high and with every storm coming in the garbage is thrown back to the water," described Mr. Hajj the current waste situation in Lebanon.  The initiator of the Whale Ship also added that they are also trying their best to create laws and regulations in order to help towards a cleaner Lebanon.

Businessman and visioner Antoine El Hajj will not only aim to clean up Lebanese waters, but also has a much more ambitious project on the horizon. At the moment Mr. Hajj is aiming to find as many investors and sponsors as possible for what promises to be a historical and world changing clean-up action. He aims to clean up Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean.  "There is almost 30 million tons of plastic floating around. The plan is to build a fleet of around 100 big blue whales and recycling plant on a boat and pick up all that plastic, recycle it and then resell it," said Mr. Hajj about his ambitious plan.

The ‘Blue Whale’, when created, and in large enough numbers will have a huge impact on the world environment. "It was a good mistake that I got into environment, really good mistake, because I think I can really give a lot to the environment and the thing I can give most is a new vision that being environmental and working in the environmental field has many benefits, besides the obvious health and environment ones," said Mr. Hajj about the lucky chance that he found himself working towards a cleaner world. We wish the Blue Whale project and Mr. Hajj best of luck in helping to make the world a cleaner and better place to live in.