IRENA and CIM completed the second in a series of underwater clean-up actions scheduled for September this year. With the action held this Sunday, September 11, 2022, an area of 6,500 m2 was affected, and with the coordinated work of a little more than 50 participants, Guvnina uvala on Premantura was cleaned.
This action is the fifth in a series of underwater clean-up actions that were carried out this year under the leadership of IRENA and in cooperation with CIM and Istrian diving clubs in the territory of the Istrian County.
Performed actions are distinguished using a new approach, which was introduced for the first time. Namely, three different locations were chosen for the underwater cleaning operations, which differ from each other in terms of the purpose of the area itself and thus the assumed sources of pollution. In order to determine the different impacts of waste accumulation, areas of different purposes were strategically selected for the execution of the actions - the ferry port, the marina and the tourist center. The second segment, i.e. the novelty introduced by the approach, is the repetition of cleaning during the year on two occasions, in the spring and after the tourist season, along with the analysis of the collected waste. The intention is to act preventively, that is, on the basis of the data collected during the undersea cleaning, to establish the sources of pollution and to propose measures that would contribute to the suppression of pollution in the analyzed area, and hopefully also in the areas of the analyzed type, say IRENA and CIM.
According to the action coordinator Lucio Lorencin from the Diving Club CENTAR – MEDULIN, "the very preparation of the action in Guvna uvala was extremely intense. For the first time, we encountered this kind of strategic approach to the analysis of marine debris, which we want to welcome. According to the divers, everything they encountered was cleaned by the divers. Everything found was removed from the affected area. Out of a total of about 20 registered divers, two were experienced scuba divers. We dived for about an hour at a depth of 1m to 4m. Divers struggled with turbidity that reduced visibility, understandably due to the southern weather. Since the spring, the area has been demarcated by a physical barrier, which was placed by order of the captain's office, because the municipality named the beach as a beach, so we cleaned it over the winter from wild anchorages and in the spring from laughter."
Three diving clubs from the Medulin area participated in the action: Diving Club CENTAR, Association for Marine Ecology EKO MORE and Diving Sports Club MLADOST. Due to the specificity of the location, which is far from the place where waste was sorted and listed, 10 vessels were included in the action. Of these, two boats for the transport of divers and equipment, six smaller boats (pasaras and batanas) with barcars that took waste from divers, and two boats that provided an area for the divers to work unhindered.
After processing the collected waste, Ph.D. Mirta Smodlaka Tanković from CIM reports that "285 kg of various discarded marine waste was collected through the eco-action carried out this Sunday. A total of 713 objects were found and analyzed, of which 47% were plastic, while 38% were made of glass. The most common objects made of glass are bottles and jars. Plastic pieces larger than 2.5 cm dominated, and a large number of shoes and beach props were also found". This time, the Public Institution Natura Histrica joined the action on the ground, where they emphasize that "without environmental protection, there is no nature protection".
The collected data of the campaign from the spring of this year, in which 966 objects weighing 530 kg were collected, and the data of the collected waste from the campaign carried out this Sunday are included in the analysis, the goal of which is to detect the sources of pollution and propose preventive action measures to reduce sea pollution from marine pollution waste. In order for the proposed measures to be effective, the plan is to include as wide a range of participants as possible in their creation. The goal is to suppress pollution not only of the analyzed area, but also of the same type of area in the County of Istria.
In this way, IRENA thanks all the participants of the action who, with their participation, contributed to another small but very important step forward in the fight against sea pollution with marine waste.
"As part of the Clean Adriatic Sea for Future Generations campaign, we have one more action to clean the seabed at the location of the Brestova ferry port, planned for the coming Sunday, September 18, 2022. We hope that time will serve us, as it has so far, and due to the careful planning and active involvement of the participants, we believe that it will be a success just like all the events held so far", stressed the MARLESS project manager, Nikola Petrić from IRENA.