In 2016 the economic crisis in Greece had climaxed, pushing unemployment to 28%. At the time, the average age of a Greek fisherman was 63 and the sector lacked a workforce.
Enaleia Founder Lefteris Arapakis comes from a long line of fishers. For five generations his family has plied the bountiful waters off southern Greece, netting the same cod and red mulls that have sustained Greeks for millennia. But in recent years, overfishing and pollution, especially discarded plastic, hammered Greece's fisheries, with catches in the Mediterranean Sea falling as much as 34 per cent in the last 50 years.
Out at sea, Arapakis, 26, noticed many boats around his hometown of Piraeus hauling in nets filled with rubbish, instead of fish. This plastic by-catch was then simply dumped back into the water.
The revelation led Arapakis to found Enaleia in 2016 with two aligned missions - teach fishers to ply their trade in a more eco-friendly manner, and enlist the help of the seafaring community to scour the Mediterranean for discarded plastic.
Since then, we have collected more than x tonnes of plastic from the sea.
Today Enaleia is operating in Greece, Italy and soon to be ____, and hopes to expand into more countries across the globe.