WORLD OCEANS DAY
On Saturday June 8th, the Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR-CNR) organized a public event at its headquarters in Venice, in collaboration with the Art Academy of Venice, the Venetian Research and Innovation District, Science Gallery Venice and with the Museum of Natural History, to celebrate the #WorldOceansDay2019. During the event, the exhibition “The Art of Marine Sciences – Oceans portrayed by artists and researchers”, born from the collaboration between some students of the Venice Academy of the Arts and some CNR researchers, was presented to the citizens. Starting from the analysis of some environmental issues, the artists have reworked the information in the light of their artistic sensibility, creating suggestive art-works that has been set up in the large atrium of the Institute of Marine Sciences. In the framework of this exhibition, an art-work related to the ghost net issue has been realized by two young and talented artists, Giulia Deganello and Erica Giacomazzi, who were supported from the scientific point of view by Nicoletta Nesto and Riccardo Fiorin from the marGnet team!
The first „marGnet“ local event – Clean up of the sea-floor and the coast at the island of Lošinj
On Saturday, 18th of May 2019 the Blue World Institute has organized clean up of the sea-floor and the coast at three bays at the island of Lošinj. This local event was organized for local community as a part of the activities of the „marGnet“ project co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and Croatian Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund in cooperation with local diving centre Sub Season and Mali Lošinj Tourist Board. Despite rainy weather, 18 divers participated with the support from 30 volunteers on the boats and on the coast plus additional 12 volunteers cleaning the adjacent beaches. In total, during the 3 hours of the action, 2t or 10 m3 of garbage was collected – car tires, glass bottles, fiber-glass pieces from the sinking boats, fenders, abandoned fishing pots and ropes, parts of the sunken pontoon. For all the participants we organized lunch and the presentations of the related topics – „Ecology of marine turtles and the threat of marine litter“ and „Underwater archeological sites at the Lošinj Archipelago“ with the visit to the Museum of Apoxyomenos.
The aims of this action were to improve status of marine environment in the intervention area by reducing the amount of marine litter (ML), increase public awareness on the problem of ML on the sea-floor and to promote healthy and sustainable living practices for protection of the marine environment by promoting the „marGnet“ initatives. Due to impressive results, good cooperation between our partners and great feedback from the participants, we are planning to continue with the organization of similar actions in the near future.
Pettition to change the Italian regulation on collecting marine litter from fishing boats
The „marGnet“ consortium supported the pettition of „Let the Fishermen Clean the Sea“ organized by a group of Italian environmental NGOs to promote changes to the Italian regulation on collecting marine litter from fishing boats. This initiative was the result of the „Clean Archipelago“ project initiated by the NGO Legambiente and Supermarket Chain Unicoop, Firenze. One of the aims of this project was to combat the problem of marine litter.
The pettition was started with the intention change current Italian legislation that encouraged Italian fishermen to discard any waste, that was accidentally caught in their nets, back in to the sea. This was because the regulation required fishermen to pay for the cost of disposal if they brought it back to the harbour. Thanks to this petition, the proposal of a new law called „Salva Mare“ which allows fishermen to bring back marine litter for disposal free of charge in the harbour, has passed to the Italian Council of Ministers.
Finally, Italian fishermen will now be able to bring the marine litter to the coast and leave it in ecological islands that will be set up in the harbours. According to the “Salva Mare”, fishermen can also get an environmental certificate and their catch will be labelled as environmentally friendly.
Public presentation of the „marGnet“ project at „Blue Day“ event at Maritime School in Bakar, Croatia
The Maritime School in Bakar invited representatives of the Blue World Institute to present the „marGnet“ project at the „Blue Day“ event organized on the 29th of March 2019. This traditional event was organized by the oldest Nautical School in Croatia and has for the last 13 years aimed at increasing public awareness for the need to protect the marine environment. The main topic of this year’s event was „A Drop of the Sea“ referring to the Sea as a source of Life but also, underlining increasing problem of plastic pollution. Hence, the main focus of the presentations for 150 participants of the event was microplastics and problem of plastic pollution of the sea in general. The „marGnet“ project was presented as an „Inovative model for the solution of marine litter – EU project marGnet“. For us it was a great opportunity to interact with future generations of seamen.
Kick off Meeting
Representatives of all partner’s organizations participated in January in Venice at the Kick off Meeting of the „marGnet“ project (EASME / EMFF / 2017 / 18.104.22.168 / S2 / 05 / SI2.789314) funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund as part of the “Sustainable Blue Economy ” call. At the meeting, technical and methodological characteristics of the project activities were presented and numerous details of project implementation were agreed.
The objectives of the project are primarily to find innovative solutions for dealing with marine litter problems. The focus is on marine litter that is characterized as abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear and other waste generated at the sea floor as a result of various activities such as fishing and aquaculture. As part of the project, selected area of the sea floor will be mapped at the Venetian lagoon and in the Cres-Losinj archipelago by mean of combined multi-sensor high resolution acoustic methodes. In order to determine hotspots of marine litter on the sea floor on a wide scale predictive model, able to stimulate dispersion of the sinking marine litter will be developed.
Marine litter collected during various project activities such as measurements and mapping, as well as promotional dive clean up actions will be collected and the plastic parts will be recycled in an innovative manner in biodiesel fuel for the vessels. We expect the recycling process of the collected fishing nets and other marine plastic litter to be displayed and promoted to the general public during the Demonstration days that will be organized in Venice and Mali Losinj next year. We hope that the foreseen goals will be met and that some of the above-mentioned innovative technologies and solutions will one day find wider application in practice.