Our first PSA release, rock stars taking on the issues of plastic pollution, planning of MPA-expeditions and the development of our Dos Manos Partners Programme – It´s an intense summer for AO to say the least!
It may have been hot and humid, but Asociación Ondine has been busier than ever this summer. We have just launched our new website and released the first part of our Public Service Announcement (PSA) video-series!
The short animation uses no verbal language so the message of “The Awakening” can be clearly understood worldwide. In less than one minute it highlights a common problem and provides a simple solution which can easily be adopted by each and evey one of us, every day. This first one-minute film targets the menace of sanitary waste, ear-buds in particular, and the millions of plastic remnants they leave in our oceans and on our sands every day of the year. These small plastic sticks are flushed into our seas, and picked up off our beaches at every Ondine clean-up, and you can help us to get rid of them!
To view Asociación Ondine’s first PSA visit our website (www.asociacionondine.org) or Facebook page. We´ll be extra grateful if you help us get the message across by sharing this short animation with as many friends and contacts as possible via all types of social media platforms. Big thanks from the O-team!
Even in the languid days of July and August conservation work continued around the island with a few VIPs coming along to help raise the profile of what still needs to be done. The hit punk band ITCHY came to Mallorca to shoot a music video but was so shocked by the plastic pollution that they spent two days with us, diving and trawling the sands to get rid of plastics, instead of creating music. The Swizz-based marine wildlife protection group, Ocean Care, which has UN Special Consultative Status, also came to see the work that is happening in the Balearics and was present when AO founder, Brad Robertson, called upon the Balearic Government to ban ear-buds with plastic sticks, and to make it mandatory for any products imported to the islands to have sticks made of natural materials that will biodegrade.
Asociación Ondine has been working towards having 20 per cent of Balearic waters protected. With the success of El Toro, the local Government has been more pliable about extending the same protection to the channel between Sa Dragonera and Mallorca in October 2016. Some scientists have reported that the biomass potential of fish around Na Pòpia and Cap de Llebeig on Sa Dragonera might be the best of the currently studied areas in the Balearics. We are hopeful that soon enough, the external waters of Dragonera will be included in the marine reserve. Meanwhile we are raising funds and planning our next scientific study during which we will collect data for a proposal of a Network of MPA´s around the Balearics.
Although the creation of new Marine Protection Areas is a hugely important part of Asociación Ondine’s mission, it has to be conducted in tandem with growing support from the local population to curb the excesses of our human actions that can harm our marine environment. Protection from fishing and diving is not sufficient without action on the major sea pollutants.
Due to this, we are continuously working on developing our various Dos Manos initiatives which target the problems of plastic pollution further. We will in the nearby future have the honour to present to you our Dos Manos Partners Programme! The programme is currently under development and, once finalised it will be open to all businesses, event organisers, schools, associations and yachts who wish to reduce single use plastics within their workplace. Participants will recieve valuable benefits and the programme will utlimately combine single-use-free practices with brand enhancement. Stay tuned for more infomation!
With local commitment to display preference for businesses that show true respect for the marine environment, and a Government which has woken up to the benefits of protecting more of the coastline, there is finally a realistic chance of resurrecting the beautiful blue sea that surrounds us so that it is teeming with life once again.
Photos: 1. Brad Robertson working with the punk rock band, Itchy, to clean up plastic from our sea and beaches; 2. Ear-bud sticks litter our sands in their millions; 3. Part of Sa Dragonera’s coastline is now brimming with life once more.