The Triton Foundation was born from a passion for the sea. Magnificently inspired at the sight of whales appearing in a glittering spout from the depths of the Sardinian sea. Depth: this word is the key to everything.
The sea: we believe we know it well, but in reality, from the deck of a boat in full sail, we can only admire its surface. And for a few moments we marvel at the creatures which manage to break the spell of the deep blue and appear on the surface. A fleeting encounter, a few electrifying moments. Then nothing more. Until the next distant spout.
A sperm whale, a series of nimble dolphin jumps. Below, looking out from the glass of a scuba mask, the sun goes down fast, and disappears into the intense blue, abandoning us, without revealing anything. While sailing, the Sardinian coasts frame the horizon and we never think that below us there are hundreds and hundreds of meters of water.
The bottom is far away, unreachable. Completely and absolutely unexplored. Yes, a place where man never has never set foot, but which is unfortunately constantly attacked by tens of thousands of kilometres of trawl nets that devastate everything they find along their way. Dragged by powerful fishing boats, following routes traced on a map, unaware of what used to live under their keels, before their passage.
The sea, our Mediterranean, looks so beautiful, clear, strong, vital. Violent, during winter storms. In fact, we know it is a closed sea, a treasure trove of biodiversity. A world under attack, a small universe in danger. Cetaceans, whales, dolphins, sperm whales are just a symbol of this: they seem strong enough to be unbeatable. Still, they too are extremely vulnerable.
Luigi Grandi’s initial aim was to create a foundation to protect them. To shield these creatures: so strong, large, fast, yet in great danger today. But admiring the sea in loneliness, at the helm of Beyond, allowed Luigi to understand a great truth: it is impossible to protect cetaceans if you do not protect their world. If you don’t understand what happens down there, at depth, thousands of meters below the surface, where sperm whales descend into darkness hunting for squid.
How can Mediterranean whales survive, if together with the plankton they feed on, they swallow kilos and kilos of plastic and waste transported by the currents? How can these creatures – mammals like us – communicate with each other, if the sea, that world of Silence of the great Commander Cousteau, is invaded by noise? The din of thousands of propellers, which make the abysses deafening like a highway? Browsing, observing that motionless and blue surface, wonderful but impenetrable, Luigi understood that to protect the cetaceans, we must first know their world.
Where the currents flow and together with the nutritional and vital plankton carry transparent and deadly plastics. We need to know what happens on the bottom, along with the endless sandy deserts or on the rocks covered with sponges and sea fans a few meters deep, as well as on the underwater grasslands which crucially contribute to the absorption of carbon dioxide and vital oxygen production for the Earth.
We need to acquire knowledge in order to protect: that was Luigi’s intuition.
That is TRITON’s mission.