Even though Chioggia is one of the most important Italian fishing harbors and fishing had been running through it veins from ancient times, the consciousness about marine litter related problems is still low (sources, effects, etc.).
However, DeFishGear project, which strives to make the difference when it comes to tackling marine litter issue in the Adriatic, is continuously focusing its efforts to progressively build society which would be conscious and sensitive to marine litter sources and its impact on marine environment.
With regard to that, a new pearl to already long necklace of public awareness activities already performed within the DeFishGear project has been added by ISPRA, Italian project partner.
This new activity named “Fishermen stories for children about fishing for … litter?!” aimed to promote appropriate behaviors in students and their relatives in order to reduce marine litter, and to foster the Fishing for Litter pilot activity by establishing strong connection among children and fishermen.
The event has been carefully prepared and implemented in various stages, and it turned out to be a real success. The first stage consisted of theoretical and practical course on marine litter issue held by ISPRA experts at the primary school ‘M. Merlin’ in Chioggia.
The second stage of the event consisted of meeting the fishermen involved in the Fishing for Litter activity within the DeFishGear project. The students have been accompanied by their teachers and parents to the commercial harbor of Chioggia, where the marine litter and derelict fishing gear collection point was set.
A special welcome desk (with a festoon built with 45 DFG colored logos and marine litter poster exhibition prepared by the students) together with the fishing nets, DFG leaflets, and DFG aluminum water bottles with the message “Less plastic bottles - More marine life” filled with cold water awaited participants of the event.
Encounter between fishermen and children begun with the arrival of the five fishing boats from the sea with their crews (and family too!). The fishermen disposed marine litter collected, in order to show how the pilot action is working and how much marine litter they (unfortunately) collect every day. Children were very excited and spoke a lot with fishermen.
DeFishGear project and Fishing for Litter activity has been showcased by ISPRA representatives while the Chief Harbor Master, the Assessor for the Environment of the Municipality of Chioggia, and Veritas spa (Public Utility Company in charge of litter management) representatives warmly welcomed and addressed the event participants.
Definitely the highlights of the event were two songs about fishermen and marine litter, especially composed for the event and sung by children. Newly acquainted friendship between fishermen and children has been confirmed with a diploma of the “Guardian of the Sea” awarded to each fisherman involved in the Fishing for Litter activity by the children.
Finally, two posters drawn by the students were selected to become the “inspirational drawings” for the newly designed DeFishGear T-shirts.