Urban Waste Project: Dubrovnik Fishermen Collecting Sea Waste

Lauren Simmonds

Marine waste could spell total disaster to not only the Adriatic, but to all seas.

As Morski writes on the 3rd of March, 2018, the worrying amount of marine waste today is one of the fastest growing problems for the world’s seas and oceans. Waste in the marine environment only happens due to human activity and enormous problems in the general waste management system.

Approximately 10 million tons of waste per year ends up in world seas and oceans. Shocking findings have shown that seawater samples contain six times more plastic than plankton. Due to significant environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural implications, there is a more than urgent need to take appropriate measures and find efficient, safe, and most importantly, long-term solutions.

Marine waste is a problem that doesn’t recognise borders: as soon as it ends up in the sea, it no longer belongs to anyone. This complicates international waste management and makes the increasingly concerning situation almost entirely dependent on good regional and international co-operation.

The largest amount of marine waste in Croatian waters is brought in by currents from neighbouring countries. Due to its geographic position along the Adriatic coast, the beautiful Dubrovnik-Neretva County is particularly influenced by the enormous amount of marine waste accumulated on currents, which is subsequently deposited along numerous southern Croatian beaches and bays. A dire warning of the damage we’re causing to our seas came in the rather sudden form of pollution that occurred in December 2017, where the old city port of Dubrovnik and the surrounding beaches such as Banje (formerly East West) were overwhelmed with waste carried in on the current, according to the local portal, Dubrovnik Press.

As a small but necessary step in solving this problem, an URBAN-WASTE project will act as an important measure to raise awareness of marine waste issues. It is one of the four planned projects of the full name “Urban Waste Management Strategy in Tourist Cities”, funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 program.

Activities are implemented in eleven pilot areas that are among the most visited tourist destinations throughout Europe, including the increasingly popular Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The only Croatian partner on the project is the Regional Development Agency DUNEA, which will coordinate the implementation of the aforementioned measure.

Organised by the DUNEA on February the 28th, 2018, a working coordination meeting was held with all of the involved experts and the implementation of training aimed at target groups, with supporting material and bilingual brochures was agreed upon.

Close cooperation with another European project, ML-REPAIR, conducted by the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries in Split, whose representatives also participated in the meeting, was of particular significance.

With its praiseworthy contribution to this measure, ML-REPAIR will provide cooperation with fishermen as volunteers, many of whom end up with some form of marine waste as their “secondary catch” when trying to do their jobs.

The plan is to properly define a pilot location where said fishermen volunteers could dispose of collected marine waste. Details of the four measures and the action plan for implementation for Croatia’s highly visited southernmost county will be presented to the public later this month.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment