The topic of litter in the marine environment is insufficiently adressed in terms of raising awareness about environmental protection and harmfulness of waste to that environment. Individual groups of marine litter have different destinies and impacts on marine life, especially observed over a longer time scale. This topic is increasingly the subject of research at the global scale and much work is being done to raise public awareness of this problem, especially the problem of plastic waste, and people are being encouraged to participate actively and change their habits. Marine litter has a completely different pathway than that of a landfill waste.
Numerous studies point to the presence of the smallest parts of plastic – microplastic – in the column of seawater, sediment, and also marine organisms, including commercially important types of marine fish.
Given the interconnectedness of all the world’s seas, it is necessary to act towards solving this problem as effectively as possible. It is necessary to pay attention to the topic of waste that already exists in the environment, and to pay attention to its future disposal by appropriate methods, such as reuse and recycling. Such activities can greatly contribute to raising awareness about proper waste management and a proactive approach to this burning issue.
Through our activities, an active participation of the interested public in detecting the structure and amount of waste in Zadar County through a scientific approach („citizen science“) was encouraged. Through these activities citizens can contribute to cleaner cities, settlements and beaches, but also participate in updating the database on waste structure, which can contribute to a better and more responsible approach to solving problems at the source (frequency of use, proper disposal and management, change habits and lifestyles,…)
Projects in 2018. with which we took action in out fight together against marine litter are:
“Citizens and Science – together against marine litter” in partnership with NGO Aurelia with financial support of Zadar Countye
“Clean Up the World Silba!” with financial support of A.C.I.
Also, we organized a few clean-up actions in Croatian MPAs:
Clean up action of the beach and monitoring of marine litter in Grabova Bay in Mljet National Park
Underwater clean up action of the Uska Bay in Lastovo Islands Nature Park
Underwater clean up action of the Bay Čuška dumboka in Telascica Nature Park
“If your bathtub is overflowing, you wouldn’t immediately reach for a mop – you’d first turn off the tap. That’s what we need to do with single -use plastic.”
Marine Explorers Society 20.000 leagues gathers ambitious, comprehensive and creative researchers whose primary interest is marine biology. Members of the Society have wide and professional experience in organizing and carrying out various projects.