BLUE Charge is a long standing and active outreach project at SALT. It was originally developed, in collaboration with Western Lofoten Secondary School, to educate future fishers and crew in vocational school on a range of topics concerning marine litter and plastics. It started out as a 3-5 day-long dynamic educational program, consisting of seven topics and practical assignments, one of which being a beach cleaning day. This has been successfully implemented at three secondary schools in northern Norway, with plans of expansion.
Eventually, for a heavier punch, the project aimed to reach beyond schools; to individuals already active within the sectors. An hour-long marine litter education module, to be included in the mandatory STCW safety training for fishermen, was developed. Given all individuals working at sea are required by the STCW convention to complete safety training, along with refreshers every 5-8 years, knowledge of the impacts of marine plastics are sure to reach far and wide. This module is tested and implemented in Lofoten starting during the winter 2018.
Future steps in this project include translation and implementation of the shorter module into STCW safety training at the Marine Institute of Memorial University, Newfoundland.
Through the project HAVPLAST, we are also developing video material and creating an online portal to make the whole course available to schools and individuals across the country.