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Fishermen catch plastic in the Mediterranean as part of new Italian initiative by CHARLES ONIANS June 10,2019   |  Source: The Japan Times

On a moonlit night off Italy’s coast, fishermen are hauling in the usual catch: cuttlefish, red mullet and plastic waste. But this time, they won’t throw the rubbish back.

The trash instead is being collected, analyzed and, where possible, recycled in an initially month-long experiment to try to provide a blueprint for cleaning up the sea.

“A lot of the fishermen used to throw the rubbish back into the sea, because the law says they can’t bring it to land,” said Eleonora de Sabata, coordinator for Clean Sea Life, which runs the project.

“They’re not authorised to carry waste, in ports there’s nowhere to put this kind of waste and it’s not clear who should dispose of it.”

That dilemma will hopefully not be an issue for the around 40 fishing boats sailing off the Adriatic resort of San Benedetto del Tronto who are taking part in the initiative.

Since it started, the fishermen have collected around a ton of waste a week for a month, of which 60 percent is plastic.

Each day, volunteers catalogue and sort the smelly catch on the quayside.

Some is recycled, some is disposed of along with household or industrial waste, but none goes back in the sea.

The project had been due to wrap up on Friday, the day before World Oceans Day, but has now

 

© THE JAPAN TIMES LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources, Landing Centres, Freshwater ecosystems and threats, Post Harvest Technology and Trade, Others, Fisheries Development and Aquaculture, Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods, Communities and Organisations, Coastal Ecosystems and Threats.

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