Marine plastic litter

Marine plastic litter 1279 1280 The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea

The Mar Patagónico Limpio working group participated in the webinar.

Last Tuesday, November 16th, the “Marine Plastic Garbage: Impacts and Solutions” webinar was organized by the Center for Higher Studies of the Argentinian Sea (CESMAr). The Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence participated through its working group Mar Patagónico Limpio (Clean Patagonian Sea).

The webinar was broadcasted on YouTube and was attended by CESMAr president Jorge Frías, Roberto Annichini and Sofía Wöhler, and by Forum consultant Andrea Michelson, Argentinian Wildlife Foundation (FVSA)’s Verónica García, and from the Whale Conservation Institute (ICB), Roxana Schteinbarg, Camila Muñoz and Diego González Zeballos.

Verónica García, a specialist in Marine Ecosystems and Sustainable Fisheries in the Argentinian Wildlife Foundation, commented: “Getting to know the different views on the same problem – in this case, plastic pollution in our sea, why it happens, how it can be addressed, what tools we have – is essential to find solutions among all of us and to carry them out. According to the latest report of the United Nations Environment Program, if the situation continues as it is now, in less than 20 years we will have twice as much plastic pollution in our seas as we do today.”

In the same line, Roxana Schteinbarg, coordinator of the Conservation Program of the Whale Conservation Institute (ICB) said: “Marine plastic pollution is a problem that crosses all sectors equally, and that is why it is key to work in an articulated way, assuming each’s responsibility. We know that 10% of plastics in the sea come from fishing activities, but beyond figures and origins, we must join efforts and stop waiting for someone else to take charge. The linear system of extraction, production, using, and then disposing is unacceptable. That is why initiatives such as NET Positiva and others are inspiring models on how to give a new useful life to what no longer fulfills its function, turning waste into a resource. This webinar brings us together to discuss, along with the fishing sector, what the necessary and urgent actions are to reverse this plastic tide.”

In turn, Diego González Zeballos, a researcher at the Patagonian Institute of Social and Human Studies CCT CONICET-CENPAT and ICB advisor, added: “This kind of events are and always will be welcome. Each social collective represents in itself a kind of knowledge that is only a piece of this great puzzle, and that is why environmental education invites knowledge dialogue. In this event, the dialogue of knowledge took place between fishing captains, NGOs concerned with conservation, and the academic sector. Plastic waste in the oceans, including rivers, lakes, lagoons, and drains in general, requires legitimate integration of sectors, and hopefully, humanity will understand that there is no time left to blame others. It is time to work in a participatory and collaborative manner.”

The Mar Patagónico Limpio group seeks to make this problem visible and optimize waste management on board fishing vessels in coordination with port activity in the region.

It is currently working on its training calendar for 2022.

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