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Marine litter clean-up action in Brijesta bay

Divers at the Brijesta Bay, collecting litter
Divers at the Brijesta Bay, collecting litter
On July 11th 2020, the University of Dubrovnik and Regional Agency DUNEA participated in a marine litter clean-up action in Mali Ston Bay. This event has been organized by Dubrovnik Neretva County Public Institution for Nature Protection, as part of the ECOSS project. The exact demo site was Brijesta bay on Pelješac peninsula. Besides being the location with highly developed mariculture production, this site also falls under the area of the largest ecological network in the world – European ecological network Natura 2000.
A sample of litter collected by divers at the Mali Ston Bay
A sample of litter collected by divers.
Waste clean-up was carried out in cooperation with the 4th Brigade of veterans Diving Club from Split and Ston Shellfish Producers Association. The University of Dubrovnik and Regional Agency DUNEA participated in order to gain insight into the debris extracted from Mali Ston Bay seabed, given the fact that this area is one of three SeaClear project pilot sites. Altogether 13 divers collected a large amount of garbage, mostly originating from mariculture activities in the area. The University of Dubrovnik will further analyse all fractions of collected marine litter, classifying it by origin, composition and type, thus providing precious data that will be used by the partner consortium.

The goal of the SeaClear project is to develop autonomous underwater and surface vessels for waste mapping, classification and collection. Hopefully in the future, robots will be cleaning our oceans continuously. The obtained data on seabed litter in Brijesta bay will give a great overview of mariculture waste composition, with an ambition of making the SeaClear system qualified also for the demanding role of collection of this specific waste from mariculture production sites. In the demonstration phase of the SeaClear project, which is during the 4th year of implementation, the developed system will be verified in Bistrina – Mali Ston Bay demo site.

Arrival at the Brijesta bay with the surface vehicles
Divers removing litter from the seafloor at Brijesta Bay
Collection of heavier litter by divers

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 871295.

The SEACLEAR project spans four years, running from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2023.

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