Where does marine waste go?
On the occasion of marking Earth Day on April 22, the Lokrum Public Institution, the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the Dubrovnik Neretva County and the Association for Nature, the Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce from Split organized a diverse educational program for visitors to the Reservoir in Lokrum.
60 present participants, most of whom were students from the University of Dubrovnik, had the opportunity to learn more about the sources, composition, research and struggle with marine waste in the Adriatic and lectures and video materials on the subject of sustainable tourism for which the Republic of Croatia has strategically decided. This event was made possible by the City of Dubrovnik within the Public Invitation for Proposals for Environmental and Nature Projects in the City of Dubrovnik for 2016.
On the same occasion, the Educational Exhibition “Let Blue Stay Blue” was opened as part of the project “Mapping, Monitoring and Management of the Cross-Border Natura 2000 Network at Sea (4M)”. Project Executives are the Sunce Association and the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values in the area of Dubrovnik Neretva County, and the project is funded under the Croatia – Montenegro Cross-Border Cooperation Program.
Activities continued on Saturday, April 23, when “Blue Clearance” was carried out in Lokrum and the foremost monitoring of seawater status was carried out and conducted for the first time, which is crucial for any further action aimed at reducing the amount of marine waste in the Adriatic.
As we have had the opportunity to hear from Mosor Prvan, the biologist of the Sunce, which explores marine waste in the Adriatic, we are just beginning to solve this problem and we still do not know how much waste there is, from which source it comes, which coasts are most affected, what is the amount of microscopic synthetic particles in the Adriatic, how many particles have been incorporated into the food chains and what is the overall impact on the Adriatic ecosystems.
It is interesting that previous pilot studies carried out by the Sunce Association and the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries show that more than 90% of marine waste in the Adriatic is the waste on plastics and the top 5 found items are:
1. Unidentified plastic items
2. Styrofoam pieces
3. Ears sticks
4. Plastic plugs
5. Cake and pastry wrappings