Atlantic ocean

Mission Océan in the Cape Verdes: Operation beach clean-up

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From the first day we arrived on the island of Brava, the fishermen adopted us; we were fishing together in the morning while their kids were playing on our dinghy, we ate in their homes in the evenings. They’re not poor people, but life is simple and they opened their doors with unexpected generosity. It was thanks to these bonds of friendship that we were able to discuss the subject of plastic pollution with them: when we arrived the beach was literally submerged with garbage. At first we ignored it, not wanting to ruin the warm welcome we received. But one of the fishermen suggested we visit the village school, so we decided to host a workshop on pollution (these awareness workshops are part of what our association does, and we have seen nearly 1,000 children at our stopovers since October). The fisherman accompanied us to the school, and he was looking at our plankton and microplastic samples with the same big eyes as the kids! Right from this moment, a dialogue was established. Around a barbecue on the beach, we explained the effect of plastic pollution on the food chain, on the fragile ecosystem of the ocean and especially on fish, their only source of income. And on Sunday morning, we ended up with the fishermen and their families collecting garbage together. Thanks to the cable car system installed between the village and the beach, which is normally used to transport fish, we have removed ten 100-liter bags of plastic. Later in Mindelo, we made a VHF call to the other sailboats for an improvised beach cleaning. Then at Tarrafal de Santiago, in view of tourists, other boaters and locals, we started just four of us, and we were twenty by the time we finished. So if we cross paths in an anchorage one day, get out your gloves and your trash bags, we have a job for you!

Who: Laura and Henrique

Where: Brava, Cape Verde

Boat: Fountaine Pajot Venezia 42


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