Litter contaminated seas can cause a variety of problems for all marine life – bottlenose dolphins may get caught in rogue netting, and turtles may ingest plastic bags rather than jelly fish. The rubbish we could dispose of properly, reuse or recycle can end up damaging the world we live in. Because of this, and the overwhelming amount of litter left on Montenegro’s beaches, the Montenegro Dolphin Project decided something needed to be done.
On the 16th and 17th August two beach cleans were carried out between 5pm and 7pm, on Mala plaza beach in Ulcinj. Though, as discussed, the beach clean in itself was hugely beneficial to the environment, the main goal was to raise awareness and educate the public in the hopes of a long term solution. In just one day a huge amount of rubbish had accumulated – around 20 plastic bags were collected filled with rubbish such as: plastic bottles, plastic bags, and cigarettes.
Through talking to beach goers, the local people seemed very positive, enthusiastic, and thankful for the project and the clean-up, despite being apprehensive at first. Kids on the beach were also excited to get involved and helped us out for part of the day. Additionally, our t-shirts caught a lot of attention, and via engaging in some conversations we hopefully managed to get across the importance of the activity and the problems associated with plastics and marine litter. Through our efforts with MDP we hope to see cleaner beaches in the future, and fewer human impacts on marine environment.
Becky Rose & Chiara Finozzi