Italy TravelItalian Fishermen Clearing Plastic From Sea

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Italian Fishermen Clearing Plastic From Sea
Published on Thursday, June 20, 2019 by

In March of this year, the EU passed a law to ban single-use plastics like plates, utensils and bottles by 2021. In the meantime, the effects of these plastics are felt by those who live and work in and around the Mediterranean Sea. Off the coast of Italy’s San Benedetto del Tronto in the region of Le Marche, fishermen are taking it upon themselves to deal with the trash they encounter in their nets daily.

Due to some Italian laws, it is illegal for the fisherman to bring the garbage into the ports since they don’t have permission to bring the trash on land and dispose of it, creating a difficult situation. With this initiative, the trash is collected, analyzed, categorized and never thrown back into the sea.

In its first month, fishermen took about a ton of waste per week from the water. The trash reaches the sea from rivers and other bodies of water that empty into the Mediterranean, as well as from improperly discarded trash from countries bordering the sea.

The trash problem in the Mediterranean is hazardous to the fish in the sea as well as to those who eat them. If trash is found in a net, the entire catch must be discarded to be safe and to ensure nobody ingests dangerous chemicals. Up to a quarter of the trash taken from the sea is recyclable and there is hope that Italian lawmakers can come to a decision on how to handle disposal in the proper way.

This initiative by Italian fishermen is a small start, but full of hope that they can influence lawmakers and change the future of the Mediterranean sea which is a source of income and of food for millions of sea creatures and human beings in the region. When the initiative began in May, it was supposed to last for a few weeks, but has been extended through the summer months.

By Kathy McCabe

 

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