Healthy Seas and MEDASSET have agreed to join forces in the battle against marine litter. Starting this week, they will work together to reduce the harm fishnets cause by involving divers, fishermen and other stakeholders in Greece. The cooperation was officially launched on 24 May, with the clean-up diving action that was performed by the Innerspace Explorers Greece diving team, at the MV Pylaros shipwreck close to Alimos coast in Attica.
Since 2013, Healthy Seas has successfully removed more than 51 tonnes of discarded nets from the North Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Now, the action has been extended to Greece where it is being coordinated by MEDASSET, an international nonprofit organization working to protect marine and coastal habitats in the Mediterranean, with sea turtles as their flagship species.
In addition to their “at sea” retrieval programme, the partners are encouraging fishermen to collect and dispose of their redundant fishing nets on land, and are offering multiple benefits to those that cooperate.
Within Healthy Seas, the recovered fishing nets will be processed and reconstituted into ECONYL ® yarn, a high-quality raw material used to create new products like socks, swimwear or carpets.
The new cooperation will raise awareness of the issue of ghostnets and of the importance of implementing sustainable practices for managing and recycling not only nets but also other fishing gear in the Mediterranean region.
The European Maritime Day 2015 will take place in Piraeus, Greece, from 28 to 31 May 2015. Healthy Seas together with its partners MEDASSET and MIO-ECSDE, organizes a workshop on 28 May which will highlight the importance of solutions that are integrated into scalable business models involving cross-sectoral collaboration which help to prevent and minimize marine litter in Europe.
Photo: Greek diver at the MV Pylaros shipwreck.