This morning between Stromboli and Messina, Giovanni Soldini and his crew – sailing aboard Maserati Multi 70 towards Malta to participate in the Rolex Middle Sea Race – met the volunteers from Sea Shepherd, the international non-profit marine conservation organization that defends wildlife and conserves and protects the oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction.
The Sea Shepherd Italia volunteers are working in the seas around the Aeolian islands for Operation SISO, whose goal is to fight illegal fishing and to rid the Mediterranean of as much plastic as possible. In particular, the organization is retrieving illegal driftnets and FADs (Fishing Aggregative Devices): fishing methods made of a propylene line that keeps large leaves afloat, under which a great quantity of fish is caught indiscriminately. FADs cause massive damage to the marine ecosystem, catching and killing also turtles, dolphins, whales and sharks.
Giovanni Soldini commented: «The Sea Shepherd volunteers are doing an amazing job in our seas to try and defend them from the absurd disregard by those who only want to plunder the sea’s resources at any cost. There are many kilometres of plastic lines that are abandoned in the sea: it’s time we understand that the sea is to be respected, it’s not an infinite resource and it’s vital for human survival on this planet. It’s always good to see that something can be done and there’s someone who never stops fighting to change the direction, such as the Sea Shepherd volunteers».
Andrea Morello, president of Sea Shepherd Italia, said: «At the first lights of dawn we usually look at the horizon for plastic, and we always find a lot in the form of illegal FADs. This morning however we saw Maserati Multi 70’s beauty crossing our bow and we were happy to have Giovanni Soldini visiting aboard right when we were retrieving one of these illegal devices from our beloved Mediterranean Sea, the most over-exploited in the world, so the most endangered. More and more sails, bows and volunteers will have to sail the sea defending it because if the Mediterranean dies, we will too».