What an informative session we had yesterday! We were rewarded with an inspiring and thought-provoking talk from Clara entitled “The Art of Saving the Sea”. As we know, our oceans are in danger, not only from global warming, pollution from plastics and chemicals but also unsustainable fishing. Two decades ago, Paolo il Pescatore” decided to try to bring public and government awareness to the problems caused by trawl nets. He started “pescaturismo”, to highlight to as many people as possible what is going on and to teach people about sustainable fishing and the ruinous practices that have threatened the whole costal eco-structure. He championed the idea of “case per i pesci” (fish houses) along the coastal floor – 250 in total along the Tuscan coast. They look like enormous concrete bird houses, imbedded with hooks serious enough to tear right through a trawl net. The idea is that the hooks keep the trawlers away and the hollow boxes become safe havens for fish to lay eggs.
Commerical trawlers drag 5,000kg lead-weighted fishing nets along the costal floor. They are prohibited from fishing in waters less that 50 meters deep or wihtin 3 miles of the coast, but they still do. The nets plough through everything in its path , decimating plant life, breeding grounds and marine habitats. According to Paolo, for every kilo of fish hauled in, the well-being of 100kg of sea life is compromised. “If people could see the coastal floor the way they can see deforested woodlands, they would be outraged. The sea grass Posidonia oceanica oxygenates the water, provides a habitat for fish to lay their eggs and prevents erosion of the coast.”
Our Next Meeting…
Our next Toastmasters meeting is on Monday, 13th January at 7.15pm at the Ludlow Mascall Centre. Do join us for an evening of learning, laughter and entertainment!