In the past year, we had the privilege of being involved in 2 missions whose aim was not only to clean up the sea of lost fishing gear, but also to promote the need for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Santorini (Greece) and the Aeolian Islands (Italy).
Well-managed, well-sized, well-protected marine sanctuaries have proved to have a positive impact on the marine environment while also generating substantial economic benefits by extending the touristic season beyond the summer months and creating jobs, in addition to helping fish stocks replenish.
In the future, we hope to see progress being made in these 2 areas, which unfortunately are in dire need of protection, and to have the opportunity to contribute to swift and well-placed designations of other MPAs, by raising awareness.
If you want to read more about the importance of MPAs, we suggest this article by Pierre-Yves Cousteau https://cousteaudivers.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/sanctuary/
Because we were interested to learn how the public views MPAs, we carried out a social media campaign last Fall. Below are some of the photos submitted. Thank you to everyone who participated for actively caring for the well being for the seas and oceans.