DIARY LOG – Eco Life Lastovo

Author: F. Dokoza & B. Đuković

On June 14, Association Sunce employees with their volunteers and members went to the island of Lastovo to carry out an environmental campaign to remove waste from the beach along with Lastovsko otočje Nature Park employees.

The Kremena beach was chosen as a suitable location for the implementation of the environmental action within the project LIFE Artina – “Network for the preservation of seabirds in the Adriatic”. Kremena beach is one of the 3 beaches where the amount and composition of waste washed up on beaches was monitored for the past 2 years as part of the LIFE Artina project according to the default protocol (HERE). In addition to the waste removal itself, one of the goals of this environmental action was to familiarize the employees of the Lastovsko otočje Nature Park with the abbreviated version of that protocol, which could be used in the future when carrying out any cleaning action on beaches.

Marine litter was collected not only from the entire beach but also from the wooded areas above the beach, covering a total area of 480 m². According to the protocol for monitoring the amount and composition of waste used during the past years, the composition of the waste on this beach did not differ much from the composition of previous years. Thus, on this beach, large quantities of small plastic pieces can be found, which due to their dimensions belong to the group of microplastics. Microplastic is a small plastic material that is created by the decomposition of larger plastic objects and, precisely because of its size, it represents a great danger for the entire food chain. In addition to microplastics, the collection and monitoring of which is quite inconvenient, a larger amount of larger waste was also collected, consisting mainly of discarded fishing gear, plastic items from households and plastic bags. This brought the total mass of collected waste to a total of 276.98 kg.

Although it is known that marine litter is a global problem that endangers many species, including birds, we are glad that we have helped with at least one small part and made the protected nature area lighter by 276.98 kg, and possibly saved some bird life.

Another important location of that day was the local cafe on Pasadur, recognizable by the term, that is, the state or feeling of a real Dalmatian “fjaka” that overwhelms you as soon as you sit comfortably in their chairs and start watching the sea and pines, and the sound of crickets hints at the beginning of that state. In the evening hours, as another activity of the LIFE Artina project, we organized a stand-up show with the famous SplickaScena comedians in the aforementioned cafe, where four comedians performed and managed to make us laugh a lot. The gathered crowd laughed in unison at jokes related to life on islands, specifically to Lastovo, and especially to those related to ecology. Through their performance, the comedians “brought through” LIFE Artina project and the bird species the project deals with. In the interaction of the comedians with the audience and the later comments of those present, we saw that they easily remembered the basic characteristics of birds, albeit in a humorous way, and some of them heard about the project for the first time and understood why it was being carried out in Lastovo.

With satisfaction and big smiles on our faces, we can conclude that the goal of these two activities has been fulfilled.