Working together with fishermen towards a sustainable marine ecosystem.
Enaleia is a non-profit social enterprise tackling two directly related problems for the marine environment; The Reduction of Fish Stocks and Plastic Sea Pollution.
We teach fishing practices that preserve local fish populations and remove the mounds of plastic that pollute the world’s seas, adapting the fishing industry for a green future.
Our mission is to make the marine ecosystem sustainable by tackling both overfishing and plastic pollution.
Our vision is a sustainable marine ecosystem, including humans.
Enaleia aims to solve two problems that correlate to a great extend:
Reduction of fish stocks Fish stocks have decreased by 30% the last 30 years ( Eurostat, 2016)
Plastic pollution of the oceans By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).
Back in 2016, in the middle of the Greek financial crisis, we had the idea to create the first Greek fishing school to deal with the major problem at that time, the unemployment of young people. During the educational trips we conducted in terms of the curriculum, we realized that many fishermen were bycatching plastic that they were throwing back to the sea, stating that “this is not our problem”.
So, we decided to do something about that and this is how the idea of the Mediterranean CleanUp project was born. Our target is to clean the seas, protecting the marine ecosystems, empowering local fishing communities and integrating the collected marine plastic into the circular economy, reassuring that this plastic will not reenter the sea again.
Enaleia has built a strong network that includes all the relevant stakeholders to tackle the marine pollution and overfishing problems, from local fishing communities to recycling/upcycling partners. Specifically, the first step of our process in every port we operate is to educate fishermen about sustainable fishing techniques and train them to participate in our actions. In sequence, at each port, we have a manager who collects the amounts of marine plastic bycatches that each fishing boat brings to the port, sorts it depending on the litter's type and stores it in special containers we have placed at each operational location. Afterward, the biggest portion of the collected marine plastic is promoted for recycling or upcycling into new products with our network's certified partners, integrating it into the circular economy.
Today Enaleia is operating in several ports in Greece and Italy collaborating with hundreds of fishermen.
Our work follows the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN for The Agenda 2030.