Floating litter in the Mediterranean region

Floating litter can get stuck in nets and propellers, seriously harming the economy and endangering lives as well as annoying bathers, fishermen and everyone else working in the marine business. Additionally, it may have negative effects on birds and marine animals because they may consume it (particularly when it comes to plastics). Therefore, removing floating trash from the maritime environment must be a top priority, especially for those stakeholders who are directly affected.

Hypotherical Questions and Advices by RTIS Network experts

Crucial hypothetical question 1

I go fishing on my boat, and I catch trash in my nets.  What should I do?

RTIS Advice /Answer 1

• Don’t throw it back into the water! Bring it to the shore, put it in the proper bin, and throw it away. You will need to put some effort into this, but it will be well worth it for the environment and for you.

• Cooperate with other fishermen who are dealing with the same issue, inform your coastal local authority or a local civil society organization about the issues you are experiencing, and you can collaborate then work to determine what can be done.

For instance, you may start a campaign to collect marine litter or, at the very least, advocate for the establishment of free waste disposal facilities in your neighborhood port.

Crucial hypothetical question 2

As a coastal local authority, what can I do about floating marine litter?

RTIS Advice /Answer 2

You are aware personally of the issues floating marine garbage can creates for bathers, small boats, and other users of the water, as well as how it might affect the tourism. In order to prevent additional discharge, the trash must be removed from the marine environment while also addressing its primary sources. This is essentially the only direct option. If you want to clean up the ocean’s surface, you could:

• Collaborate with local fishermen to remove floating trash by offering incentives to them to throw any trash they catch in their nets during regular fishing trip or by starting marine litter collecting programs off-season.

By providing unemployed fishermen with alternate sources of income, initiatives engaging local fishermen are another option to reduce the amount of fishing that occurs in a region (as per EU standards). Regardless of the course you take, make sure everyone participating exercises caution, especially when it comes to larger or more challenging floating trash items like fishing nets.

• Ensure that adequate bins are available so that responsible fishermen, who voluntarily bring rubbish caught in their nets to port, can dispose of it without being charged, can do so.

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