Garbage in the sea, who cares? – round table in Vodice.

Datum objave: 13. February, 2023.

On Thursday, February 9, 2023, the round table “Waste in the sea, whose care is it?” was held in the Town Hall of the City of Vodice.

This round table was organized by the Argonauta association as part of the Eco flow to the island project financed by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, through which it is planned to clean the underwater areas of the islands of Prvić, Vrgada, and Žut (where the action was already organized last fall). In addition to cleaning actions, regular education for children on environmental conservation topics is held, and as a third activity, round tables in the municipalities of the aforementioned islands, the first of which was held in Vodice.

The round table was attended by representatives of the City of Vodice, diving clubs Šibenik and Roniti se mora, LAG More, FLAG Galeb, and, as host and moderator, a representative of Argonauta.

The name of the round table was also the question with which the round table began, and after all the participants gave their opinion from their personal perspective, as well as from the perspective of their organizations, a very constructive discussion developed on the topics of citizens’ awareness of this problem, the status of divers who are “on the front line” of this problem, locations of waste in the sea, habits of citizens related to the attitude towards waste…

The conclusions reached by this round table were that local self-government units are responsible for waste in the sea. However, the challenge that is specific to marine litter is that it cannot be easily seen like that on land and that it “moves” due to sea currents. And when it is spotted, sometimes it is not easy to remove it due to its inaccessible location or very deep depth.

Following this, the round table also discussed the status of divers, who most often clean up waste from the sea through volunteer actions that they initiate themselves. It was discussed that at these actions it should be ensured as a minimum that they cover the costs of filling bottles, fuel, and other things that require a financial cost, but also that they are educated about the possibilities of financing actions through the available funds of various donors.

In addition, it would be very useful and necessary to create and continuously update the locations of marine debris through a specific application or some other tool through which divers could report the location and approximate amount of debris, which would then influence local self-government units to clean them up.

In short, the protocol for cleaning waste from the sea exists, but it needs to be improved and systematized. In addition, we should continuously work on education, raising awareness about these topics, and, of course, continue to organize underwater clean-up actions.

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