Aquaculture for all

Fish farm cleanup film wins award at Cannes

Water quality Sustainability Awards +4 more

Journey to Ithaca – a short documentary telling the story of an ocean cleanup from an abandoned fish farm – has been awarded Best Environmental Film at the Cannes World Film Festival.

Three divers underwater with large piece of marine litter
Volunteer divers helped remove 76 tonnes of marine litter from the abandoned fish farm on the island of Ithaca in Greece

© Healthy Seas

The 15-minute film, directed by Austrian self-taught filmmaker Michael Westreicher, tells the story of the biggest ocean clean-up to date by Healthy Seas – a charity set up to tackle the ghost fishing phenomenon that harms the marine environment – and its partners.

After going bankrupt, a fish farm was abandoned on the island of Ithaca in Greece and for ten years it was wreaking havoc to the marine environment, local community and maritime traffic.

A local environmentalist, George Lilas, decided to do something about it and publicised photos of the catastrophe on social media, getting the attention of Healthy Seas, who was able to mobilise funding and partners to help restore the area. In just 8 days, volunteers removed 76 tonnes of marine litter from underwater and at the surface.

“Being part of this project was an eye-opening experience for me. I have dived all over the world, but nowhere have I seen such devastation to the marine environment caused by human negligence,” said Michael Westreicher, director of the documentary, in a press release. “I hope that this award will help raise awareness about pollution and inspire many to take action.”

Watch the full 15-minute 'Journey to Ithaca' documentary © Healthy Seas
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