Is Dubrovnik and our islands threatened by an ecological catastrophe caused by garbage from the sea?

first_imgAt first, this may not be such important news for some, but it is certainly extremely important for the future of our tourism, and especially for Dubrovnik as well as our islands.For many years, the coast of Dubrovnik has been facing an ecological catastrophe caused by an enormous amount of garbage and floating debris, most of which originates from Albania and during strong south winds and heavy rains is applied to the port of Dubrovnik and the Croatian islands of Korcula, Mljet, Sipan, Kolocep, Lastovo. , Vis, Solta, the Peljesac peninsula and the southern part of the Croatian Adriatic.And so unfortunately this year again we have ugly scenes of garbage in the sea in Dubrovnik, which came from Albania. The people of Dubrovnik immediately went into action and started the cleaning action, which is certainly commendable and great, but I wonder if we really don’t care about this problem and why we don’t deal with it systematically and strategically? The solution is certainly not to clean the garbage from the sea every year when it already comes to Dubrovnik, the cause of the problem needs to be solved.If tourism is one of our main strategic branches, and Dubrovnik and our islands certainly are, then we must care about strategic development and sustainability. I don’t know why something negative should always happen to us first, and only then should we react. Unfortunately, even when it is too late, apart from short-term promises and reactions in the context of firefighting, there is no quality and long-term solution.Yes, this is a picture of Dubrovnik suffocating in the garbage / Source: HRTŠuica: An ecological catastrophe threatens Dubrovnik and the Croatian islandsIt is good that we have finally put at least a little pressure and are talking publicly about this problem, but it is certainly not enough. Thus, Dubravka Šuica, Member of the European Parliament, asked the European Commission and the European Environment Agency to react urgently due to the huge amount of waste that arrived from Albania. Although it has repeatedly asked the European Commission for measures due to the ecological catastrophe threatening the Adriatic, the amount of waste caused by the south wind on the Dubrovnik coast this weekend motivated MP Suica to warn the Commission and the European Environment Agency once again. “Given that the existing regulations are insufficient to regulate marine litter, and a closed sea like the Adriatic is threatened by an ecological catastrophe, I appeal to the Commission to take urgent measures to save the Dubrovnik coast and the rest of the Adriatic.. ”Emphasized the head of the Croatian EPP delegation Dubravka Šuica in her question.Certainly the pictures of garbage in Dubrovnik or our islands are not good, and tourists are not interested in who and why, but they are left with that ugly picture in their heads. Also, this problem is not from yesterday, but to date we have not been able to solve it or at least deal with it responsibly and strategically. If we can’t solve the problem at the source already, maybe we can intervene at sea before the garbage reaches Dubrovnik. Can we set up some floating dams or ships collecting garbage before it reaches the shore or maybe some third solution?Floating garbage collection floating platform solutionPerhaps one of the solutions that Boyan Slat, then 19, came up with three years ago and delighted everyone with the idea of ​​a floating platform that cleans the ocean of garbage. Namely, it is a project Marine Litter Extraction as a radical solution for cleaning the sea of ​​debris. The system consists of floating barriers instead of nets, which would catch the waste, but they are harmless enough for plankton and other marine life. Large areas can be covered, and the platforms are completely self-sustaining, with the help of solar energy, waves and sea currents. According to calculations, the system is profitable, so it would not be unusual if we soon saw something like this on the surface of the ocean. The entire project has been under development for three years and is currently in the testing phase in the North Sea.Can we be the solution? I don’t know, but we can certainly open a dialogue with the founder of the Marine Litter Extraction project and see what our options are. Of course if we want to, because many organizations in the World are dealing with this problem, we just have to open our eyes and start dealing with solving it. We have to care until it’s too late. There is certainly a solution, but we need to deal with all the challenges from the professional side and open dialogue, and that means strategic planning and development, which is so lacking in Croatia.Garbage islands in the oceans       This year is a semi-annual expedition he led Charles Moore in the Pacific Ocean revealed the dire consequences of ocean pollution. They discovered an ‘island’ of rubbish, consisting mainly of non-degradable tiny plastic, which is larger than the surface of Texas and extends in breadth and depth. Take some time and try to research online to figure out what the size of the problem is. Garbage islands float across the oceans and that’s a reality, not a figment of someone’s imagination, unfortunately.Is the Adriatic suffocating in plastic or is it just an illusion? The problem of garbage in the seas and on the beaches is not a problem of some distant and other world destinations there, but it is also present on the Adriatic, in our backyard.If you think this is not our problem, you are very much mistaken. The most beautiful sea in the world, as we often boast, also has its “islands” of garbage. In collaboration with the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sun and the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, a three-minute video was recorded showing how many problems people have on the islands and beaches of the Adriatic every winter and spring. Our beautiful sea, we have only one, and one is the planet Earth. “Marine litter is a huge problem, both economically and health, ecologically, aesthetically and touristically. Unfortunately, plastic never disappears, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, it enters all the pores of the environment. Eventually if we continue like this, it will happen to us that we will eat plastic from the sea that we throw away”Said Mosor Prvan, biologist of the Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce.Take a few minutes of your time and just look at the “drop in the ocean” of garbage problems on the Adriatic. This is unfortunately a reality, not some crazy hypothesis or conspiracy theory.The invasion of plastics is rapidly turning our seas into the largest landfill in the world, endangering marine animals and ending up in the food chain after plastics are crushed in the sea and turned into microplastics. Microplastics that we consume because it is found in fish, without us even being aware of it. In the Mediterranean, plastic remains have been found in small fish, seabirds, sea turtles and whales. Scientists estimate that 1455 tons of plastic are already floating in the Mediterranean, with an average density of one piece per 4 square meters, making the Mediterranean one of the most endangered marine areas.This year, Greenpeace Croatia activists in the sea in front of the famous Saplunara beach on Mljet said that there are already 1455 tons of plastic in the Mediterranean, which makes the Mediterranean one of the most endangered sea areas. “Beach cleaning is necessary, but not a solution in itself. Shredded pieces of plastic are almost impossible to remove. It is a pity that due to a few seconds of one-time use of plastic, we are permanently polluting the sea that we love so much and the animals that live in it. The islands are the most beautiful part of our coast, and tons of plastic float on them every year. It is time to understand that the problem needs to be addressed by the cause, that is, that we urgently need to change habits and get rid of disposable plastic. For example, nylon bags, straws, bottles and plastic cutlery are very easy to replace with environmentally friendly alternatives. ”  said Mihaela Bogeljić from Greenpeace Croatia.They say that the South Dalmatian islands, where residents, volunteers and visitors struggle with plastic all year round, are particularly affected, and the area of ​​the Mljet National Park is no exception. “On Mljet, Vis, Lastovo, Šolta and other beautiful islands that are laid parallel to the coast, or with the direction of the main sea current and with the direction of blowing south, a huge amount of waste is stranded. The vast majority of this is plastic, which fragments over time and remains in the sea as a microplastic for hundreds of years.. ”Emphasized Hrvoje Čižmek, President of the Society for Marine Research – 20000 Miles, an association of scientists who, in partnership with Greenpeace, documented the seabed around the Mljet National Park.At first glance, the situation in Croatia is not fabulous, unfortunately we have not yet developed awareness of the problem of pollution of our natural resources, which we can witness when we just look at the communal equipment on the beaches. Also, if you walk along the beaches, rocks and other coastal landscape we can often see various remains left by careless guests on the beaches. The question is this: If we care about sustainable development, then we must invest additional resources and financial resources for the daily cleaning of beaches, utilities as well as in the education of our guests. We must first respect ourselves and our environment, so that our guests can respect us, ie our environment.Just one trash can is not the solution to the problem. Croatian tourist workers as well as tourist destinations must first work on their consciousness and only then turn to prevention and education of guests. The only solution is strategic development, responsible and sustainable tourism. This is our responsibility, open your eyes and act until it is too late.Croatia is known for its clear sea and beautiful nature, there are solutions, and whether it will remain so in the future depends only on us – the people.Related news:THE “BLUE BAG” PROJECT FROM THE ISLAND OF KRK AS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF PRESERVING THE CLEANLINESS OF THE SEA GREENPEACE CALLS LEADING TOURIST COMPANIES TO LEAD CROATIA’S TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCESVJERAN PIRŠIĆ, ECO KVARNER: THE FUTURE OF CROATIAN TOURISM LIES IN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM WHERE NATURAL RESOURCES, BUT ALSO NATURAL OPPORTUNITIES OF A CERTAIN ENVIRONMENT WOULD BE RESPECTED IN THE FIRST RIGHTlast_img