On October 1, a conference at the town hall of Tossa Del Mar kicked off the event, followed by an educational program attended by 120 students from the local school ‘Escola Pública Ignasi Melé i Farré’ in collaboration with Xatrac, a local environmental association.
The children participated in a beach clean-up, interactive presentations and games, to raise awareness of the phenomenon of ghost fishing which is responsible for the suffering and death of millions of marine animals. An estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear are lost or abandoned each year in the world’s seas and oceans.
In the following days, eight volunteer divers carried out underwater cleanups at Muladera Rock near Tossa de Mar. The team discovered and removed a fishing net that covered the reef like a thick blanket, preventing marine life from entering. access food and shelter in its holes and crevices.
Coinciding with scientific studies which indicate that the sea surrounding Barcelona is one of the three areas in Spain most polluted by plastics from fishing activities, Raúl Alvarez, coordinator of Ghost Diving Spain, said: “For years, divers have watched nets and other fishing gear pollute this popular dive spot. We are excited to be able to help clean up this area to allow biodiversity to thrive again. “
Once on land, it was time to clean the large fishing net which covered an area of 100 square meters and weighed 450 kilograms. The divers have removed 30 kg of lead which they will transform into weight for their diving belts.
“We are proud to have extended our activities to Spain and to be able to support local efforts to heal and protect the ecologically charged coasts and seas of this beautiful country,” said Veronika Mikos, Director by Healthy Seas.
The event was also made possible by Hyundai Motor Europe who announced their partnership with Healthy Seas in April. They provide funds for the implementation of Healthy Seas clean-up and education activities.