The GHOST team is really excited to announce that recently (June 2018) the Municipality of Venice approved its Council Resolution n.199 proving for the implementation of measures aimed at preventing the abandonment of disused fishing gears in the marine and lagoon areas of its competence. In fact, these measures have been clearly inspired by the Regulation Proposal elaborated by the GHOST Project, which as a whole is still under examination by a regional working group to be eventually adopted by the Veneto region. In particular, Res. N.199 established that disused fishing equipment such as nets, lobster pots and mussel socks should be delivered in specially fitted bins provided with locks.
We think that the Resolution should be regarded as an important first step in the regulatory process for the appropriate management of marine litter in Veneto Region. Therefore, the GHOST team would like to thank the Municipality of Venice, particularly for paying attention to the needs of fishermen who had for a long time asked for eco-compatible solutions to their urgent need of disposing obsolete fishing gears.
Weeks full of events for the students! Between March and April, the GHOST team realized dissemination activities specifically tailored to different types of secondary schools: three thematic workshops on marine litter were carried out, structured in such a way as to actively involve over 200 students of different ages and competences. The first seminar took place at the intermediate high school "M. Todesco "in Padua where Dr. Vanessa Moschino illustrated the impacts of marine litter -in particular fishing nets, to five classes of this institute, highlighting in particular possible actions for their reduction and / or mitigation.
The second seminar was addressed to students in Applied Ecology, a degree course in the framework of the Environmental Sciences (Ca 'Foscari University): the students, on the occasion of their visit to the Institute of Marine Sciences in Venice have been able to deepen their knowledge on the research activities carried out at ISMAR, in particular those aimed at evaluating biological resources and the effects of human impacts on marine ecosystems. The students also visited the information point of the GHOST project, set up in one of the institute's premises, where Dr. Nicoletta Nesto illustrated the objectives and the main results obtained within the project. Finally, the third seminar, always organized at the ISMAR headquarters in Venice, was aimed at two classes of students from two different scientific high schools, respectively the Benedetti of Venice and the Majorana Laterza of Putignano. Dr. Vanessa Moschino, in particular, illustrated major problems for the local lagoon and marine environments, mainly the pollution due to microplastics in sea water and sediments; moreover, she made the students participate in the results of the GHOST project, inviting them to learn further by presenting and distributing to them the informative material already realized and made available at the information point of the project.
On December 20th, 2017, Dr Vanessa Moschino held a seminar on marine litter in Chioggia, at Palazzo Grassi (Padova University) for students of the Marine Biology Master, in the framework of the Marine Ecotoxicology course. The seminar, entitled “A sea in the bottle: marine litter threatens ecosystems” was focused on the impacts of marine litter -specifically of ghost nets, on the coastal marine environment and on the methods, adopted within the GHOST project, to reduce their quantity on the rocky outcrops located off Veneto coast and to monitor the consequent biological improvement of these particular habitats.
On Friday, April 13, Nicoletta Nesto and Vanessa Moschino of the GHOST team held the last seminars of a cycle organized in the framework of the project called “ IL MARE ADDOSSO”. The seminars were held at the institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR) in Venice and were focused on the issue of ghost nets, their ecological impacts and the development of management strategies aimed at the recycling of their plastic components.
This stimulating project, coordinated by Unioncoop Formazione and Impresa S.c.a.r.l. and funded by the Veneto Region, was carried out with the cooperation of various partners including ISMAR, fishing-net manufactures, tailoring and e-marketing companies. The main task of this initiative is to provide a group of unemployed young people with the needed technical-managerial skills to launch a start-up enterprise for the fishing net’s creative recycling, in particular through the development of tailoring manufacturing and decorative items.
The first edition of P.I.Sa. Festival 2017 (Pisa Innova Salute) was held at the Le Benedectine Congress Center, Pisa, October 25 -28. Experts from all over Italy attended the conference, organized by the Interdepartmental Research Center for Health Promotion and Information Technology (ProSIT) of the University of Pisa. Various priority issues for public health, including vaccine prevention, environmental quality and child and elderly’ health were afforded and discussed.
In the framework of the conference, the LIFE KTE EnvHealth (Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Network in Environment and Health) organized a whole day of study to deepen issues related to the communication of health risks due to environmental pollutants and to the knowledge transfer among the research world, industry, the local administrations and citizens. The aims were both to suggest preventive actions and the adoption of adequate lifestyle attitudes and to provide appropriate tools suitable to support decision-making processes in the field of environment protection of and public health safeguard.
Nicoletta Nesto of the GHOST project team (which is a partner of the LIFE KTE network) attended the conference and was involved in the day of study by presenting the methodologies developed and applied by the project GHOST to raise stakeholders awareness and to increase their engagement regarding the management of ghost nets and other marine litters.