Intervention's Theaters

Oil Slicks as a result of "normal" human activities
Heavy Spills as a result of serious accidents
Garbage as a result of the weather life
Plastics as result of human activities

Cleaning means carrying out a series of repeated activities without ever reaching 100% of the result.
There is no magic wand that immediately solves everything and from this observation our mind been driven.
It's not necessary to complex and expensive projects exasperate; simple solutions can give unexpectedly effective results.
Marine Pollution Statistics.


Routine Human Activities


Inevitably humans produce waste that if not well managed will dirty and poison our planet.
About 80% of marine litter comes from land-based sources (eg. through, sewage outfalls, industrial outfalls and direct littering) while 20% comes from marine-based activities such as illegal dumping or transport, tourism and fishing shipping.

Pollutants flow into canals and sewers until they reach the sea (44% of oily pollutions according to IMO data) that is the main victim of plastics and floating oily residues.
The growing population environmental sensitivity has given rise to many activities aimed at removing these pollutions, all of them being worthy of praise as consequence of the love for our planet.
The oily slicks come from civil, agricultural, industrial and port operations discharges. The presence of oily slicks is a reality even in the absence disastrous events or far from them.
The easily observable translucent reflections along the coast, water front, canals, etc. are the consequence of the drift of distant spills, of routine port operations, maintenance, refueling, loads and discharges or of the release of agricultural, industrial and civil waste.

The introduction of oils is harmful to flora and fauna, contaminates fish, crustaceans and bivalves (mussels, clams, etc.) that enter the human food chain, makes boat hulls and infrastructures dirty, ruins the beauty of places and produces bad smells that damage the social life, tourism activities and the economy of the places.

Sheeny silver and rainbow slicks floating on closed coastal water surfaces.

A silver film in the Bacino San Marco.

Even the maximum care for the environment cannot avoid small spills.

Oil reflections in marine waters.

Oily reflections nearby the port.

There are no dedicated means to remove oily patches, always very thin, except the placement of absorbents and the spray of disperdant.
The use of absorbent is long and laborious, requires numerous staff and it is a dirty job; sprays are expensive and difficult to manage, they distribute pollution in the water's mass till the seabed and everything in the between: fish, mussel farmings, algae...

Absorbent pads.


Disk Skimmer and Booms.

Brush Skimmer and Booms.

is the perfect answer to these kinds of needs.


Absorbents bags.

Trapped oil.


Safety 4 Sea - Top 5 sources of marine pollution.
Semantic Scholar - Multi-Criteria Analysis... Oil Spills.
ITOPF - Oil Spills Economic Effects.
Washington Sea Grant - Education to Prevent Small Oil Spills.
Focus on Oil Transfer Info for Marinas.
Marine Oil Spill Scenario: Small Fuel Spill.



Heavy Spills


The oil spills are classified into 3 main categories (tiers) taking into account the needed type, means and organizations for the remediation.
The International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) has defined the three tiers according to various characteristics based more on the capabilities of the response than on the spill size. They recoed several response capabilities definition that work in conjunction with one another to immediate relief provide ; these capabilities include the in-situ controlled burning, the shoreline clean-up, the wildlife response, and yhe waste management. The oil containment and its recovery by competent personnel and the best practice is the first response to any oil spill. (Here beside the "Oil Spills Final" from Sara Hassan)

Tier 1

Tier 1 are spills occurring near an operator facilities, as a consequence of its own activities.
Tier 1 events use locally held resources and are less severe spills allowing the containment by a spill internal company management team.

Tier 2

Tier 2 spills extend over the Tier 1 response remit being larger in size and needing additional resources; in the response are involved broader stakeholders range.
These events extend outside the operational area of the oil or gas facility.
A higher number of people are involved in a Tier 2 response; they have access to additional training and equipment such as aircraft, communication, and the ability to institute mutual aid agreements between groups and government bodies.

Tier 3

Tier 3 spills are those that, due to their scale and likelihood to cause major consequences, call for a range of global, national and international, remediation sources.
The resources from stockpiles of national or international cooperatives, in most cases, will be subject to governmental control.
The Common Pool Resources (CPR) and available equipment include aircraft for spraying high volume of dispersant, at-sea and large-scale containment equipment and specialized shoreline and inland clean-up capabilities.
Management on this level are equipped to train and direct large numbers of workers through wide-spread logistics.

Life of an Oil Spill on the sea

Spreading begins as soon as oil is spilled at a speed depending upon the viscosity of the oil, which in turn depends both on the oil composition and the ambient temperature.
Low viscosity oil spreads more quickly; higher temperature makes spreading more quick being viscosity inversely proportional to temperature.
After a few hours the slick will typically begin to break up due to the action of winds, waves and water turbulence and will often form narrow bands parallel to the wind direction.

Evaporation is probably one of the most significant processes that affect an oil spill.
An oil with a large percentage of light and volatile compounds will evaporate faster than one with a larger proportion of heavier compounds.

Dispersion is consequent to waves and turbulence at the sea surface that break up the spill into varying sizes of fragments and droplets.
Dispersed oil droplets have a greater surface area to volume ratio than floating oil.
The speed at which an oil disperses is largely dependent upon the nature of the oil and the sea state.

Emulsification is formed when two liquids combine, with one ending up suspended in the other.
Emulsification of crude oils refers to the process whereby sea water droplets become suspended in the oil to form a water-in-oil emulsion.
This occurs by physical mixing promoted by the turbulence at the sea surface.
The formed emulsion is usually very viscous and more persistent than the original oil and sometimes it is referred to as chocolate mousse because of its appearance; it slows and delays other oil weathering processes and complicate the response.

Dissolution is the dissolving into the surrounding water of the soluble oil compounds and this most quickly occurs when the oil is dispersed in the water column.
Most crude and fuel oils contain relatively small proportions of these compounds making dissolution one of the less significant processes.

Oxidation is the chemical reactionn between oxygen and oil either breaking down into soluble products or forming persistent compounds called tars. This process is promoted by sunlight and it's very slow even in a strong sunlight, breaking down not more than 0.1% per day of the oil film. Tarballs, which are often found on shorelines and have a solid outer crust surrounding a softer, less weathered interior, are a typical example of this process.

Sedimentation/Sinking. Very few oils sink in the marine environment. Some oils can be close to the seawater density once their lighter compounds have evaporated. If they sink then can form dense ‘tar-mats’ on the seabed.

is consequent to the presence in the sea water of a wide range of micro-organisms that use hydrocarbons as a source of energy and can partially or completely degrade oil to water soluble compounds and eventually to carbon dioxide and water. However, some oil compounds are very resistant to these attack and may not readily degrade.

One of the main difficulties in oil reclamation operations seems to be to intercept and collect the floating oil-water mixture on the liquid mass.
The most commonly adopted solution seems to be essentially to contain and concentrate the mixture in a restricted area with barriers and then to extract the oil using machines or pumps, always operating at a fixed point. These difficulties also depend on how the chemical and physical characteristics of a spill evolve in its life on the water surface.

NOAA - How Do Spills Happen?.
ITOPF - Oil Spill Knowledge.
Oil Spill Models By Antigoni Zafirakou.
IPIECA - Tiered preparedness and response.
DESW - Sinking and Submerging Oil Spill Risks.
NRDC - The Impacts of a Tar Sands Oil Spill.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
University of California - Case Study of Oil Seep.
Matt Radermacher - Bioremediation of Marine Oil Spills.



Vegetables & Debris


Common items of marine litter include cigarette butts, crisp/sweet packets, cotton bud sticks, bags and bottles.
Man-made items debris are found in marine habitats throughout the world, from the poles to the equator, from shorelines and estuaries to remote areas of the high seas, and from the sea surface to the ocean floor.
The plant debris comes from algae and flora that are dropped especially by heavy weather into the water.


Lake of Sebino

Phosphates Fertilization

Along the seafront and lakes and rivers coats infrastructures accumulations of dirt and floating plants are formed as a consequence of routine human life and the weathering. They generate bad views and bad odors, damaging to social well-being and the tourism business.

Phosphates and nitrates that flow from urban, industrial and agricultural drainages into the waters generate an excess of nourishment that favors the proliferation of algae, inflorescences and mucilages.

ENI - What is eutrophication? Causes, effects and control.
How Do Phosphates Affect Water Quality?.
Norfolk Marine - Debris Control Booms.
Canadian Pond - Benefits of Aeration Systems.



Plastic Ocean Vortex


Plastic garbage comes from drains, when not even introduced by unseemly behavior directly.
They are called "Trash Vortex" or "Plastic Islands" and are huge accumulations of waste and plastic that extend for thousands of km² on the surface of the sea; they are many and so large that they could cover the entire surface of the Iberian peninsula.
The international community is increasingly sensitive to the problem and the dedicated projects are multiplying.
Plastics are estimated to represent between 60 and 80% of the total marine debris. Manufactured in abundance since the mid-20th century, most of the plastics that have been produced are still present in the environment.
The cumulative amount of plastic produced since the mid-20th century is of the order of 5 billion tons, enough to wrap the Earth in a layer of plastic wrap. The amount projected by 2050, on current trends, is about 40 billion tons, which is enough to wrap 6 layers of plastic wrap around the planet.
Plastics can absorb toxins from surrounding seawater, such as pesticides and those in the class of chemicals known as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They can also release harmful constituents such as Bisphenol A (known to mimic the hormone estrogen), as they degrade.
Because of their small size, plastic fragments smaller than 5mm can be ingested by a wide range of organisms, considering that over 92% of all plastic items found at sea are generally smaller than 5mm. This can cause physical damage from abrasions, blockages or accumulation of toxins in organisms.
Plastic is now so abundant that it has been proposed as a new stratigraphic indicator of Anthropocene, being the Anthropocene a proposal of a new epoch to be added to the Geological Time Scale describing the very recent rupture in the functioning of the Earth System as a whole arising from the impact of human activity.

The six largest accumulations are:

Great Pacific Garbage Patch
from 700,000 to more than 10 million km², about 3 million tons of waste.
South Pacific Garbage Patch
2.6 million square kilometers.
North Atlantic Garbage Patch
4 million km², over 200,000 debris / km².
South Atlantic Garbage Patch
over 1 million km².
Indian Ocean Garbage Patch
more than 2 km², 10,000 debris / km².
Arctic Garbage Patch
hundreds of km², over 200,000 debris / km².

The main six garbage patches

The Great North Pacific Garbage Patch

Plastic garbage floating on the sea

The Great North Pacific Garbage Patch map

Underwater view of floating plastic garbage

Generalizing, the plastics that end up in the sea float exposed to sunlight, air and the mechanical actions of wave motion. They begin to divide into smaller and smaller pieces until they become microscopic: the microplastics. The bacteria aggression and microorganisms on microplastics tends to definitively degrade them but the process is very long and in the meantime the plastic fragments, macro or micro, enter first the fish food chain and then the humans that those fish consume. Only the mechanical removal of the still unfragmented plastic can reduce the microplastic formation and the consequent risks.
Synthetic plastics present in everyday materials constitute the main anthropogenic debris entering the Earth’s oceans and their influences cause a dramatic impact on a global scale.
The plastics degrade because of the interaction with the environment that surround them and often their surface properties change resulting in the creation of new functional groups.
Polyethylene, polypropylene, and terephthalate polyethylene (PET) degrade through the mechanisms of photo, thermal and bio degradation.
Plastic degradation releases chemical compounds to the water. This compounds and their amounts are dependent on the plastic polymer and the weathering condition of the plastic.
Different ways are being considered to reduce their environment impact. One of them is to use microorganisms capable of degradation of plastic. Nevertheless, the interactions between plastic and microorganisms are still poorly known.

Plastics in the Mediterranean

A large amount of plastic waste has been detected in the area known as Sanctuary of the Cetaceans, in particular between Corsica and Isola d’Elba.
A dedicated section follows.

Plastics in the Adriatic Sea

Every square kilometer of water is on average filled with 332 garbage fragments: 40% are plastic bags and pieces; more than one out of ten waste (12.5%) is represented by pieces of polystyrene containers; one thing that is striking in the marine litter assessment report in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas is the number of cotton buds: they are the third most found waste in the 31 studied coastal sites.
Among the most polluted sites there is the Gulf of Venice where there are even over 1000 floating objects per square kilometer.
This marine garbage situation has been defined "one of the main threats to the ecosystem".

Safety 4 Sea - Top 5 sources of marine pollution.
National Geographic - Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Sun - South Pacific Garbage Patch.
National Geographic - North Atlantic Garbage Patch.
Corriere Innovazione - South Atlantic Garbage Patch.
How Latin America Is Combating Marine Debris. Plastic Soup.
Inquinamento da plastica in mare: cause, conseguenze e soluzioni.
Research Gate - Degradation of Various Plastics in the Environment.
Stockholm University - Plastic degrading in the oceans....
National Geographic - A running list of action on plastic pollution.
Degradation of plastics and plastic-degrading bacteria in cold marine habitats.
BBC - Stop polluting our oceans....



Santuario dei Cetacei


The Cetacean Sanctuary was established in Italy in 1991 by the Ministry of the Environment and it's located within the Pelagos Sanctuary for the marine mammals protection in the Mediterranean. It's a marine protected area included in the French, Monegasque and Italian seas.
The Cetacean Sanctuary covers an about 25,573 km² area in the Liguria, Sardegna e Toscana Regions.
Particular chemical-physical characteristics induced both by the morphology and circulation of the waters make this sea stretch one of the richest areas of life in the Mediterranean.
The currents doesn't sort among what to transport and so they concentrate in that area anything that floats or is suspended in the water.
Mediterranean is surrounded by rivers that come from large economies, large cities and densely populated territories. The currents move their waste and you're done; they accumulate in the Sanctuary of Cetaceans.

The area is also at risk of hydrocarbon pollution because of the coastal presence of ports and industrial activities; moreover, the presence of the Genoa Multiedo and Marseille oil terminals generates significant tanker traffic. The accident of the Jolly Nero ship, the collision between the Tunisian motorship Ulisse and the container ship Cls Virginia, the accident of the tanker Lia Ievoli, the sinking of the oil tanker Haven although it happened almost thirty years ago, just to remember.
In this chapter, however, we are concentrating on floating plastics vortex.

The global models define the highest concentrations of floating plastics and the Mediterranean Sea one as the sixth great accumulation zone for marine litter
In the following map of the plastic debris concentrations on Mediterranean Sea water surfaces takes evidence the presence of highest concentrations just under Liguria and Toscana coast.

On 2019 June the 19th a monitoring campaign at sea started; it's carried by the University of Siena and the Cima Foundation within the Plastic Busters MPAs project dedicated both to collecting data on the presence of plastic and to monitor the animal life in the area.

For all of the above or that you can find at the following references and in the bibliography on the web, it is absolutely necessary "to do" something in order to not definitely kill neither the Mediterranean nor our Planet in its entirety.
These activities must be in several forms: the prevention and consequent populations awareness aimed at favoring a plastic sustainable use, in particular the drastic reduction of their consumption as disposable products such as packaging and tableware; the drastic reduction in industrial production of plastics that are not absolutely necessary; the replacement of plastic polymers with biodegradable materials; the control and disqualification of plastic inputs into rivers and last but not least the greatest possible reduction of plastics already present in the sea.
The last point, the need for reclamation of existing pollution, is very easy to be admitted.
If you are injured it's very important to research and establish the causes that led to your injury and it's equally important to establish future behaviors that avoid further injury. But the absolutely necessary thing, immediately and first of all, is to heal the wound: before that an infection starts, before that a gangrene rises, before that the damage is irretrievable, before it kills you.

All the necessary interventions, prevention, awareness raising, social and industrial reorganization and reclamation can only be achieved with the involvement of all the necessary players. Three National States are involved in the Cetacean Sanctuary: Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco. In Italy, the bodies of national importance are involved: the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea, the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) and the Regional Agencies for Environmental Protection (ARPA) . It is also necessary to consider both the territories crossed by the rivers that flow into that area and the rivers that flow into its vicinity. Thus the Magra, Serchio, Santerno, Senio, Paglia, Cecina, Bruna, Elsa, Sieve, Pesa, Era, Cornia rivers also contribute, as well as Tevere, Arno, Reno, Ombrone, Aniene and the rivers Santo, Coghinas, Liscia and Cedrino. So they are involved the Regioni Liguria, Toscana, Lazio, Sardegna and Umbria as well as their municipalities overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

All that can be done to reduce the damage is useful but it is also very important to act in accordance with the best practices for protecting the environment implementing policies that respect the Circular and Sustainable Economy by introducing the least than possible further pollution and generating the virtuous circle of valorisation of the intervention aiming both at the lowest possible costs for its implementation and at the greatest possible advantages of its result. Plastic garbage have an economic value on its own as they can be sold to recycling centers. The latter add value to waste by regenerating it into new materials and finally there is an economic value for recyclates on the market. Recycling also reduces the need for raw materials, again to the benefit of the environment. All without considering that the "sick" is the most care thing there should be, namely our beloved planet whose health is priceless.


Beloved Home


TJP in the Cetacean Sanctuary Care

Both TJP OilKiller and TJP Jonathan/George are targeted tools for the "wound care": OilKiller is confident for restricted and coastal areas, rivers and canals; Jonathan/George in the implementation of its intervention model on the high seas.

Here is an example of a non-exhaustive, but certainly indicative, calculation of the Jonathan/George model's value applied in the Cetacean Sanctuary scenario.

Theatre of intervention

Total plastic presence
Needed Remediation Time
TJP Jonathan/George Employed
    The assumed data are:
  • geometric dimensions of the intervention area
  • presence in kg/m2 of floating plastics
  • size and performance of Jonathan/George
  • The assumed hypotheses are:
  • the collected plastics trapp15% of water
  • the resulting calculation of volume per m²
  • the worked time is about 70% of the total involved time that includes
  • staff unavailability, technical stops, bad weather or adverse seasons
  • The calculated results are:
  • optimal number of the employed TJP Jonathan/George
  • number of weeks to complete the job

Needed Means

Name Adjustments Status Management
Terminal Container Port infrastructures None As it is Rate
Carrier ships Feeder class ≈ 700 TEU None As it is with cranes Hire
Containers 20' To loose water Better used Hire
Carrier Container Truck None As it is Rate
TJP Jonathan/George None Customized Purchase
People at work None As they are Employed
  • no new infrastructures are needed
  • the only new device to be funded is the TJP Jonathan/George boat
  • rental costs are taken from rate tables on the web; since they fluctuate according to the market, they are indicative
  • the reference port is the Container Terminal of Genoa
  • the reference recycling plant is the Ucovich company, CoRePla consortium, located in Genoa, 12 km far from the Terminal Container
  • there are 4 people on board the mothership and two people onboard each TJP Jonathan/George boat
  • the mothership never abandons the operational area; this both to be quickly able to intervene in case of breakdowns or necessities and to guarantee fast shelter in case of bad weather

Incoming Value

Unit Value
Total Value
Plasic Debris to sell
kg 787˙500
€ 0,11
€ 86˙625

Positive Externalities

A positive externality is a benefit that is enjoyed by third-parties as a result of a developed activity.
We talk about the Tragedy of the Common Goods when the environmental resources are over-exploited and cannot be renewed according to their natural biological cycle. For example: over-fishing, hunting of endangered species and, of course, environmental poisoning caused by pollution. In all these cases there is an excessive consumption of the resource.

Employed People The remediation campaign generates jobs and income distribution both directly and indirectly. In addition to the people directly involved in the marine activities there will be other professionals dedicated to organization and communication and further people working on land both for for services and selection and production of recyclable.
Communication The first goal is to introduce as many people as possible, around the world, to the initiative that is going to ne taken. The initiative will be perceived as laudable but it will still be useful to insist on its ethical, moral and beauty values.
Environmental Sensitivity The knowing of the damage seriousness inflicted to the sea and to the cetaceans with disreputable behaviors, in both the use of plastic and the management of waste, and of the effort that is in progress to try to cure the caused wounds will give a significant boost to the growth of environmental sensitivity. It will generate more virtuous behaviors in all people, even those that do not live on the sea, with a consequent decrease in both the production of waste and pollution and the costs of managing them.
Return of Image The mass media are happy to publish objects linked to this ecologicall tendency, creating in this way a positive return of image and selling. The return of image will make the places and their tourist characteristics better known to more people, thus increasing their inflows; will make the Public Bodies implementing the initiative appreciate so increasing the sense of trust towards them; will give a sense of pride to all stakeholders in the initiative and will call to finance from private companies, brands and tycoons eager to share it.
R&D Stimulation The communication of the campaign value and of the involved disciplines will stimulate Research and Development in several areas. The world of recycling, the production of non-polluting materials and their correct placement on the markets will be involved first. It will also give impetus to all the involved disciplines: waste management, planning of plastic crockery and packaging, etc.
Raw materials saver Both the reduction of production and consumption of virgin plastic and the replacement of virgin plastic with recycled materials will produce a lower consumption of raw materials with a consequent decrease in needed energy and environmental exploitation.
Increased recycle on the market To promote the above, communication campaigns will have to significantly aim at improving the image and acceptance of recycled materials by consumers. The increase in the consumption of recycleds and the reduction in consumption of disposables tableware and packaging will be of considerable benefit to the environment and will lead to significant reductions in the waste management costs and subsequent processing.

Costs and Benefits Analisys

FFirst of all we must stress the importance of public funding without which operations such as this type are practically impossible. Their correct use, which foresees an initial phase of organization and communication, can generate an interest in private individuals and tycoons whose aid can greatly reduce the need to disburse public funds.
Public funding also has the technical function of bringing financial management back to the right balance by internalizing positive externalities.
The reclamation of a stretch of sea affects to a Public Good. The results are both non-exclusive type (no one is excluded from their use) and rivals type (the fruition by an individual excludes the fruition by other individuals).
The monetary value of an Environmental rehabilitation is difficult to identify and should coincide with the value that citizens attribute to it.
Un possibile miglioramento dell'analisi potrebbe venire da quello proveniente dai mercati connessi; ad esempio, il mercato del turismo può fornire indicazioni sul valore ricreativo di una risorsa ambientale.

Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea.
Pangea - Debris in the Mediterranean Sea, MedSeA-2013 cruise.
ISPRA - Plastic Busters MPAs.
Università di Siena - Plastic Busters MPAs.
The Mediterranean Plastic Soup.
Plastic-Associated Pressures: Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Australian.
Plastic Debris in the Mediterranean Marine Protected Area Pelagos Sanctuary.
Pelagos Sanctuary.
Pelagos Plastic Free.
GreenPeace - Zuppa di Plastica nel Santuario dei Cetacei.
Il mare è una zuppa di plastica tra Elba e Capraia.
Terminal Conteiner Porto di Genova.
Container Shipping Rate for 700 TEU Vessels.
Shipping Container Hire Pricing & Dimensions.
CoRePla Recycling Plants.
Rischio inquinamento da idrocarburi sul Santuario dei Cetacei.
Collisione nel Santuario dei Cetacei, cosa comporta la perdita di idrocarburi.



Your reaction will be precious to us

The Jonathan Project is an Ltd. company in liquidation process
Luigi Perrella, former CEO, is the actual liquidator. All @-mails from this site are addressed to