On May 18-21, the first edition of the International Maritime Festival of Pasaia was held. This event, which aims to promote maritime culture, received the visit of 115,000 people. The program included land and water activities linked to maritime heritage, among which was the Life LEMA project.
The organizers of the event – Basque Government, Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and Pasaia City Council – considered “positive” the development of this first edition of the festival, “for the commitment of the Pasaia citizens, for the great diversity of audiences and for the quality and good reception of the maritime and musical program”. Good weather and citizen participation were the protagonists of the event, which attracted entities and representatives of other maritime cultures from different parts of the world to Pasaia, becoming for a few days a reference event in the field of European maritime heritage.
The LIFE LEMA team organized a series of play and didactic activities in one of the several thematic tents or “villages” that were set up in the land area, to raise awareness of the problem of marine litter on the Basque coast, and promote the direct actions of the citizenship. In these activities the children were the protagonists. A total of 120 wooden boats were painted by children between 2 and 11 years old during 5 children’s workshops organized by AZTI. In addition to painting ships, whose objective is to identify possible destinations for marine litter, a series of talks and colloquiums were organized to sensitize the public to the problems generated by the accumulation of marine litter on the coast. At the Life LEMA stand a total of 500 people approached, most of them children, who showed great interest in knowing where their boat would arrive. The wooden boats that were painted will be launched in summer from the Bay of Biscay to study the behavior of marine debris in the subtropical gyre of the North Atlantic.