The reduction of the pollution of the Baltic Sea and the protection of migrating salmon in Lithuania
The project seeks long-term sustainable goals to reduce the pollution in the Baltic sea and to protect biodiversity by implementing the concrete actions together with communities. The project is based in Lithuania and we search for solutions how to reduce the pollution in the rivers entering the Baltic sea and to decrease the poaching activities of salmon in Lithuania. Seeking to improve the ecological situation of the Baltic Sea, together with volunteers we search for illegal wastewater spills and eco-friendly low-cost solutions for wastewater treatment in private households. We educate society and fishermen about the harm of poaching activities to the environment.
Situation and background
We have stated the project with raising some concerns in the social media about two controversial issues. We have made a video demonstrating how beautiful is our Baltic sea coastline and Lithuanian landscape. On the other hand, we have raised problematic questions about the pollution in the Baltic sea and how the pollution affects us and the fish.
In such country as Lithuania salmon is threatened not only by the pollution but also by poachers. Every year the Illegal fishing activities increase extremely on the salmon migration period. Lithuanian salmon is an expensive catch and often sold in the black market.
In Actio has gathered a bunch of volunteers and environmental activists who care about the environment we live in and started fighting with salmon poachers and preventing pollution in Lithuanian rivers. In Actio is closely cooperating with Lithuanian environmental inspectors who helps to organize the preventive raids against infringers.
The major sources of pollution are the surplus of synthetic or chemical fertilizers and untreated domestic sewage water, both reach the Baltic Sea via paths of rivers. It is very common situation in Lithuania, that wastewater of households and farms flow directly into rivers and streams. Untreated wastewater, as one of the major factor of pollution of the Baltic Sea, has also negative effect on the salmon population.
Even though salmon live in the Baltic Sea, they return to spawn in the native freshwater streams. Baltic salmon inhabit marine habitats, but they may swim hundreds of kilometres during their migration, encountering different environments during their lives. The main threat of salmon migration in Lithuania are intensive poaching activities. The residents, especially those who are living in villages near rivers, cause the great damage to the salmon population. It is well known, that Lithuanians often use illegal fishing nets and poach on a prohibited time, it became more a tradition in Lithuania than a source of subsistence.
Project activities and effects
The main goal of the project is to identify the illegal wastewater pollution sources polluting the country’s rivers and small streams which flows directly to the Baltic Sea, and to protect salmon population by ensuring the possibilities for migrating salmon to reach the spawning habitats in the uprivers.
The objectives of the project are:
- To identify illegal wastewater pollution sources and to transfer the results of the collected information to the competent authorities of Lithuania, thereby reducing pollution to the Baltic Sea. After the identification of illegal spills, it is planned to educate local inhabitants about the possibilities to install ecological alternative methods and low-tech solutions for the treatment of the household wastewater.
- To collect the illegal fishing nets in exchange to the new fishing rods, thus reducing the opportunities for poaching in the salmon migration and spawning season.
- To prevent illegal salmon fishing in inland waters by organizing the preventive environmental raids with cooperation with local environmental authorities.
- To raise the level of environmental education of students and local communities by organizing the lectures and the seminars of the damage of poaching activities and the importance of nature protection.
In order to achieve the main goal of the projects, we implement these activities:
- Activity “Expeditions to identify illegal sewage”. The main aim of the activity is to reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea by identify the illegal wastewater pollution sources. The report of the collected information will be transferred to the competent authorities of Lithuania. After the identification of the illegal spills, it is planned to educate local inhabitants about the possibilities to install ecological alternative methods and low-tech solutions for the treatment of the household wastewater.
- Activity „Destroy your illegal net”. It is foreseen to assemble illegal fishing nets of the local population thus reducing the opportunities for poaching in the salmon migration and spawning season.
- Activity „Save Salmon”. In cooperation with environmental institutions it is planned to organize environmental preventive raids (checks). This will reduce the poaching activities of salmon during their migration and spawning season.
- Activity „Poaching damage to environment”. By organizing the lectures and seminars for local communities and schools it is planned to raise the level of understanding and education about poaching damage to the environment and other ecological problems.