Protect Recovering Mediterranean Marine Life From Plastic Pollution

Target: Sergio Costa, Minister of the Environment, Italy

Goal: Extend protections over coastal waters to safeguard marine wildlife.

Increased use of plastics and latex has put Italy’s marine species in jeopardy once again. The country has experienced a remarkable resurgence of sea life off its coasts under restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, with animals expanding into areas where they haven’t been seen for years. Sperm whales, moray eels, and plants including giant varieties of seaweed have enjoyed a reprieve from heavy fishing and pollution from shipping as well as newly transparent water and healthier food sources. Plastics and latex, however, remain a threat.

The boom in consumption of plastics and latex, particularly for disposable medical equipment, has resulted in the recovery of more than 80 tons of plastic waste in Italian waters. Further waste has included almost six tons of abandoned fishing nets. Taken together, these quantities of waste represent a significant threat to rebounding fish and marine life.

If the recent recovery of vital Mediterranean sea life is to last, pollution must be countered by a strong response from the Italian government. Sign the petition below to urge that cleanup efforts be taken and the recent protections extended.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Costa,

The recovery of marine wildlife in Italian waters is an encouraging and hopeful development at a time when ecosystems the world over are under siege. With limited human presence, Mediterranean animals and plants have been able to enjoy expanded living space and food sources not seen in decades.

But the ongoing fight against COVID-19 has also caused a spike in plastic waste, including rubber gloves, medical waste, abandoned fishing nets, and microplastics. If the miraculous recovery of sea life is to be preserved, greater cleanup efforts are needed.

I urge you to direct cleanup operations to remove this waste and enshrine stronger waste regulations in anticipation of a return to normal. Italy has a unique chance to protect its natural heritage for generations to come, and it shouldn’t be wasted.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis

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One Comment

  1. Sergio Costa, Minister of the Environment, Italy

    Extend protections over coastal waters to safeguard marine wildlife.

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