Garbage in Pantelleria harbour and ICCAT management
I'm at Pantelleria, an island 75miles SW of Sicily, onboard a sicilian tuna fishing vessel for bluefin tuna, a purse seiner, working as a monitoring fisheries observer for ICCAT.
We monitor a lot of things but not marine debris and I think we should do it. The observer programme covers 100% of the fleet targeting for Bluefin during the fishing season (26th May - 24th June) and it's a great opportunity for monitoring and raise the awareness on the problem.
I did a proposal to the consortium who manages this programme (MRAG & Cofrepêche) that I would help them on making pressure next to ICCAT to include marine debris issues on their recommendations for the fishing industry. It would be a great achievement, maybe the R4W foundation could do it too, it works better throught an international recognised association.
Everything on board is done with plastic, they use too of it all the time, and I did see many things going overboard. I get crazy, even with the cigarette butts. I give the example, I try to teach and raise awareness but get answers like "are you trying to save the World??" "well, sir, at least I do my part for it! The Ocean is your life, you get everything from it and that's the way you treat him. Do you find it fair? I don't".
Meanwhile, the port where we are, due to bad weather, is full or garbage. I'm proposing to the local newspaper and also to maritime authority to organise a clean-up, even if just me, I don't care, lets do this.
Lets think on this ICCAT issue together, would like to know if you are with me!
Best regards to all
Together we are stronger!