“Therefore, it is right that on the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth we ask ourselves the question: what can we do, together, to restore the health of our oceans and also to build peace?
“Well, I believe that the Commonwealth is uniquely placed to solve this crisis.
“Almost every Commonwealth nation is a maritime nation. Many of us are island nations. We have a deep affinity with our oceans. And we also represent one third of the world’s population.
“But the Commonwealth is so much more than the sum of its people. We are also home to some of the most incredible life on earth. The Commonwealth is the home of the polar bear. The Commonwealth is the home of the African penguin. The Commonwealth is the home of the humpback whale, the bluefin tuna, and the Great Barrier Reef.
“Our common wealth is our ocean.
“With our vast marine estate, we now have an opportunity to work together and to lead the world in ocean conservation.
“This is why it was so important that, at last year's Commonwealth Summit, we acknowledged with the Blue Charter our responsibility to protect our oceans”.
Lewis Pugh is an endurance swimmer and the UN Patron of the Oceans. He grew up in three different Commonwealth countries.