In the beginning of May the project visited Nova Academy, a high school in Simrishamn that has an EU exchange program and on that day had students from Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden visiting.
The day started with Camilla Witt from the municipality of Simrishamn giving a presentation on marine debris and ghost nets, DFG (Derelict fishing gear). After that, the MARELITT Baltic project was presented, what it is about and aims to achieve and continued showing the students the film Ghosts in the Baltic Sea from 2012.
Then it was time for workshop/group discussions that lasted 30 minutes and ended with all groups presenting thoughts and findings for a couple of minutes.
So, what impressions and thoughts were raised?
The topic was new to everyone in the room and they were not that familiar with ghost nets or DFG. The fish and seals caught in nets that were shown in the film struck the students emotionally and left a sad impression. It also made them realize the importance and urgency of dealing with the problem.
Only some of the students had experience with diving, others from seeing litter in the sea or on the sea surface.
Who should pay for retrieval according to the students?
- The ones who buy the nets must be responsible for them!
- More people who go out by themselves to retrieve nets.
- We should all pay because they damage the nature.
- People should be able to get aid if they help and go out on own initiative to retrieve the nets. The government should pay.
- Everybody should take part in paying. Everybody who buys a fish should also pay more to aid in cleaning the ocean.
How should we handle this in the future?
- Cultivate fishes only for consumption and not destroy the nature.
- Nets even kill fish when they aren´t used so the fish die without purpose. People want to save money.
a.) You can make nets of other materials so the sea can break it down, or maybe also the fishes that are stuck in the nets (that´s a good thing to research).
b.) The recycling costs of nets are high for fishermen, so there must be another solution for that.
c.) If fishermen would have to pay for lost nets it might encourage them to retrieve them.
- GPS on the nets. Nets of organic material. Lots of taxes for lost nets that do not get retrieved.
- Everybody should have to report if they lost nets, so that people could see on a digital map (that everybody can see) where the nets are. Tracking nets. Stop using plastics.
- Someone should collect the trash. Making it a more visible problem.
Any innovative ideas?
- Not innovative ideas but the idea of cotton nets can be good for the future because they are from nature and can be “recycled or degraded” by nature.
- Get the nets recycled in a better and free way: as an example make phone cases out of the material so people recycling the nets can also get money by selling the new product.
- “Blue box” like in airplanes (black box). GPS signal every 5-6 hours, collect the data, monitor where and at which depth the Nets are/were. GPS on the nets. Making it a rule to report the loss.
Date/time: May 3 2017 12.30 – 15.00 (CEST)
Venue: Nova Academy, Marine Center, Simrishamn, Sweden