One of our little boats ended up in the Canary Islands! It’s a huge breakthrough for our scientific committee as their research perimeter happens to be even larger than expected.
Within the European project LIFE LEMA, and during the RADPROF campaign of the IEO carried out at the end of August 2018, a total of 160 wooden boats had been launched in the waters of the Bank of Galicia and in the open waters of the North Atlantic (~ 43º N and 15.40º W). The objective was to study the possible trajectories of marine litter towards the Portuguese coast, its intrusion in the Mediterranean or its drift following the winds and marine currents that give rise to the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre.
After more than 1,700 km of travel, on July 12th 2019, the boat number 255 was found, it had been launched in the open waters of the North Atlantic a year ago. The finder is Alfredo, living in the east of the Island of La Graciosa, on La Caleta del Aguardiente (Canary Islands). This boat had been painted by children Unax, Sara, Maialen and Naiara (between 8 and 9 year old) of Txingudi Ikastola of Irun under the motto: “Ez bota plastikoak itsasora, arrainek jan eta hil egiten – No echéis plástico al mar, los peces lo comen y mueren”.
It highlights the tremendous issue that is marine litter, and enhances our strong conviction that this problem needs to be meet through a global and cohesive response. That is why our transboundary project, LifeLEMA, is highly effective and draws examples when it comes to establishing cross-border strategies to address common, challenging issues. This discovery strengthens our belief that global warming and marine pollution constitute substantial opportunities for human beings to collaborate and make progress towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
Again, we would like to thank every citizen for their collaboration and interest in our project, citizen science is highly important for us as we are trying to establish a strategy that values civil society’s participation.