BoatBuster project

Infordata Sistemi is the partner for the development and supply of the BoatBuster App which allows to track marine wrecks and plan removal, disposal and recycling activities.

For decades, the Venetian lagoon – the largest wetland in the Mediterranean – has been used as a landfill for discarded wrecks, leaking microplastics and pollutants and posing a risk to others on the water. An estimated 2,000 abandoned vessels are in the lagoon, scattered over an area of about 55,000 hectares (135,900 acres). Some lie beneath the surface, others poke above the water and some are stranded on the barene – the lowlands that often disappear at high tide.

Through an Application made by Infordata Sistemi the Consulta della Laguna Media, which is a grassroots group monitoring the health of the lagoon, can found the boats, maps them and pressures the authorities to remove them.
The wrecks are a threat to other vessels – a boat’s engine may be damaged if it passes over them. But they are an even bigger threat to the ecosystem, leaking chemicals, fuel and microplastics as the boats disintegrate in the water.

“There are boats that have been abandoned for 20 or 30 years that are in very bad condition,” says Davide Poletto, executive director of the Venice Lagoon Plastic Free organisation. These release chemical contaminants as they break down, he says.

Modern boats tend to have fibreglass hulls, which release microplastics as they decompose. A big concern is anti-fouling paints, which are intended to keep slime, barnacles and other creatures off the boats. Some of these, such as tributyltin, are now banned because of their toxic effects on marine life. Even the boats’ furnishings and upholstery contain chemicals that may contaminate the water.
Authorities seldom remove these wrecks; bureaucracy is slow and dealing with the city’s boat graveyards is a long way down the priority list.
That’s why a group of boating enthusiasts and environmentalistsare trying to force action.

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