EBI webinar on the potential of recreational boating against marine litter

On Wednesday 19 May, EBI and its NGO partner The SeaCleaners (TSC) held a webinar titled “Harnessing the potential of recreational boating industry against marine litter”. Joining the event were Yvan Bourgnon, President and founder of The SeaCleaners, Andreea Strachinescu, Head of Unit at DG MARE, and Frédéric Silvert, Technical Director at TSC.

Mr Bourgnon introduced the NGO and credited his past circumnavigations as the key inspiration to take action against marine litter. In particular, after having sailed in 2014 in Indonesia, he saw how polluted those waters were. With The SeaCleaners, “we found a technical solution to collect plastics” he said, and the aim is to involve as many people as possible, and to raise awareness with politicians as well.

Then, Ms Strachinescu took the floor to introduce the EU focus and actions on tackling marine litter. Around this topic, “there is place for projects and activities to be developed, there is additional funding to come” she revealed, adding “there is an important source of funding for all of your proposal in terms of addressing the litter. It can be either Horizon Europe, cross border projects through cohesion policies and state aid schemes for R&D”.

Mr Silvert subsequently introduced the Manta boat, “a vessel to clean our oceans, a driver of the circular economy, a learning and a scientific platform”. The Manta is a real giant of the seas, able to collect plastic waste and convert it in energy through a pyrolysis and energy recovery unit.

In closing the event Valérie Amant, Director of Communications at TSC, discussed what kind of opportunities for involvement there are for EBI members. “There is room for boaters. The Manta will be used as a workboat, and EBI members can provide expertise and know-how. Everybody is welcome to contact TSC”. Opportunities for in-kind sponsorship range from electrical systems, batteries and navigation equipment.

The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A, where the audience asked technical clarifications regarding the Manta project and how the recreational boating industry could be more involved.

In case you missed the webinar, you can watch it again here.

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