Chioggia is one of the most important Italian fishing harbors and many people are involved in fishing activities. However, the consciousness about marine litter-related problems is low (source, effects, etc.), which instigated the DeFishGear team of ISPRA to organise a Course on Marine Litter for students of the Primary School ‘M. Merlin’ of Chioggia.
Implementation of the Course started in March 2015. The first three parts took place in the period March-June 2015, as described under DeFishGear Educates Children about Marine Litter, while the last part was organised at the beginning of July.
On the 3rd of July, a parade for students of the primary school “M. Merlin”, was organised at the beach “Bagni Lungomare”. All students participating in the activity were wearing the DeFishGear T-shirt with the “Message in a bottle: Save Our Seas” logo designed by themselves at the end of the marine litter course.
As children prepared different billboards, during this event, the first one was fixed to one of the lifeguard towers located at the Chioggia beach. The remaining billboards were fixed to 20 different lifeguard towers over the next several days. Many tourists visit these beaches, therefore the billboards will not only raise awareness of the local people, but of many visitors who come to spend their holidays at these beaches. Thus, the impact of this activity will have much larger scale than the local community.
The event was attended by the Assessor for the Environment of the Municipality of Chioggia and the President of the non-profit organization “Le Tegnùe di Chioggia”, who rewarded the children with a picture book about the Tegnùe.
The activities continued on the 4th of July, when a singing performance was organised at the public square Piazza Europa in Chioggia. Before the performance, ISPRA researcher spoke about the DeFishGear project, focusing on the marine litter course and Fishing for Litter activity (FFL). Three fishermen involved in the Fishing for Litter activity also spoke about their experiences on the project, stressing the importance of FFL and the need for this activity to continue in the future and to involve the entire Chioggia’s fleet.
The president of the non-profit organization "Tegnùe di Chioggia" donated books about the Tegnùe, to thank the fishermen for their efforts in cleaning the Adriatic Sea and preserve the Tegnùe's habitat. Teachers presented the work done with their students, together with ISPRA.
At the end of the performance, citizens and tourists were invited to go on the beaches and look for the billboards about marine litter on the lifeguard towers.