April 15, 2024

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Lampedusa protests with broken boats of refugees – News

Lampedusa protests with broken boats of refugees – News

In 2023 nearly 160,000 migrants fled across the Mediterranean to Italy. They arrive in small wooden or metal boats, often going to Lampedusa. The legacies of this migration are now piled up there.

Broken boats, life jackets, baby bottles or shoes: every year thousands of migrants arrive in Lampedusa – the whole legacy of the people who fled with them. They lie around beaches, harbors and island beaches.

There are too many to keep up with island disposal: “Many of these boats are piled up here and cannot be disposed of in time, and when bad weather comes, unfortunately everything gets washed away. On small beaches » says Filippo Mannino, Mayor of Lampedusa.

Filippo Mannino, Mayor of Lampedusa, in an interview.


Filippo Mannino, Mayor of Lampedusa, explains that these boats represent a humanitarian drama.


But not only the island is affected, but also the sea around it. After being salvaged at sea, many wooden and metal boats are left to their fate. They either sink or eventually run aground. Island fishermen say thousands of such boats are already under the sea. The photos taken by them during their work are a testimony to this.

A security issue

Mayor Mannino said this is a major problem for boat safety as other boats can run into these boats. “Then it's a serious issue of environmental pollution because boats sink and are sometimes accidentally fished by fishermen. It destroys all their equipment.

Fishermen mend their nets in Lampedusa.


Trees from sunken boats get caught in fishing nets.


The fishermen of Lampedusa are shocked by this. They have been drawing attention to the problem for years and demanding that something happen. But so far almost nothing has happened. “We are tired, we lose whole days of work, whole fish, and nobody pays us for it,” says fisherman Salvatore Lombardo.

Boats must be disposed of on mainland Italy

Boats of migrants brought ashore usually end up at the port of Lampedusa. As they are hazardous waste, they must be transported to mainland Italy. The 20 square kilometer island with a population of about 6,000 is very small and lacks amenities.

Above all: a European project is now planned. With the support of Brussels, the seabed and the coast of Lampedusa will soon be cleaned of the relics of the settlement.

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