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Celebrating World Oceans Day in Monte Hermoso, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

The municipality of Monte Hermoso and Mundus maris agreed to conduct an extensive programme to celebrate World Oceans Day 2015 and engage citizens and many other institutions in the drive to protect the ocean more effectively. The tourist and fishing town of Monte Hermoso, in the Province of Buenos Aires, committed to set an example for all coastal communities in the country in this occasion.

The programme started on World Oceans Day, 8 June, in the morning with information stands with posters and banners which attracted a lot of public attention and allowed interaction between inhabitants and the associations and institutions exposing their activities.

The main event took place in the packed cultural center. In the occasion, the litter separation programme - Monte Separa - was presented to the public. Sandy Puleston, Director of Solid Waste Management of the county has been a driving force in this project.

Separating garbage is important to recover resources thanks for a recycling plant that had been commissioned a few months ago. The plant is located in the west entrance of Monte Hermoso and only meters away from the fishing station.

On this subject, the participants could watch two videos, one on the recycling activity featuring plant workers and another one about the importance of the fishing sector, represented through the voice of old fishermen from the village.

Mayor Marcos Luis Fernández talked emphatically about the recycling plant, which undoubtedly needs the support of the population to be successful. The members of the cooperative Las Gaviotas are those working the separated litter material that come to the plant. It needs to become a perfect win-win situation, with less pollution on the land and the sea, a cleaner town and good recovery of valuable materials which also create future-proof jobs.

Regarding World Oceans Day more specifically a panel of personalities spoke about the importance of respecting, studying and protecting the ocean as a giver of life, food and jobs. Prof. em. Anibal Seleme, President of the Federation of Professional Associations of Graduates in Biological Sciences and Dr. Marcelo Morales Yokobori of Mundus maris in Argentina took the floor.

Dr. Marcelo Morales Yokobori emphasised in particular, how the different ways of earning a living need to be seen as a whole and compatible with one another - an ecologically and ecologically viable tourism and a sustainable fishery all benefitting from waste treatment and recycling.

This session also featured two video-conferences, one with Guillermo Cañete responsible Marine Programme, Argentina Wildlife Foundation and another one with Dr. Cornelia E Nauen of Mundus maris in Belgium.

One of the highlights was the announcement of the winners of the Mundus maris Awards selected by the international jury. Several were from Monte Hermoso, in particular the only Bluefin Tuna Prize that went to Gimena Salcedo and Milagros Ailén Martínez, 16 years, for their dream ocean story in the age group 13 to 18 years, "El mar, una forma de vida" (The sea, a form of life).

Other points in the programme were a brief tribute to the sailors who died at sea on the Rambla overlooking the ocean and a formal act during which Marcelo Morales Yokobori, representing Mundus maris, received the Declaration of Public Interest from the president of the Honorable Council of Monte Hermoso, Cesar David Quintana, and a Diploma of Gratitude from the Mayor. Aníbal Seleme, President of the Federation of Professional Biological Science Graduates Associations and a particularly dynamic member of the organising committee received a honorary diploma from Mundus maris for his tireless effort to make World Oceans Day a big success in Argentina.

The different activities were extensively covered in the tv, print, audio and other media. The short video summerising the event can be seen here. All fotos courtesy of Fabio Latorre.