Underwater art stops illegal trawling; Science says meditation is good for you; Nine million trees planted in heart of England

Here's another round-up of positive news for the planet

An Italian fisherman has single-handedly stopped illegal trawling, using underwater art

60-year-old Paolo Fanciulli has been battling against illegal and unsustainable fishing for most of his life, but finally succeeded in his mission by dropping 39 large marble sculptures to the bottom of the sea, off Tuscany’s Maremma Regional Park.

Having practised sustainable fishing himself, using a process that casts shallow nets to take mullet and bream, while leaving the bottom reaches undisturbed, Fanciulli was well aware of the damage and destruction caused by deep-sea trawling nets rapidly destroying the sea bed and the fish stocks he grew up harvesting.

Fanciulli also knew how expensive the damaging nets were to replace, and between 2002 and 2006, he worked with the Tuscan government and WWF-Italia to place 126 underwater bollards in positions that would destroy any trawling nets and therefore, put off illegal trawlers.

His more recent project added art to the mix, as Fanciulli worked with marble sculptors to create artworks that would bring the world’s attention to the greater problem of environmental degradation. Between 2015 and 2020, 39 stone blocks have been floated out to their final resting place, where they can be viewed only by divers, whilst gathering seaweed and bringing a host of marine biodiversity. Their presence has completely stopping illegal fishing in the area and Fanciulli and his team are now looking to extend the project even further along the coastline.

Source: Good News Network.

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Science says: Daily meditation can make your brain quicker and improve your ability to concentrate

We’ve always known it, but now we have the scientific evidence to prove it.

Results of a new study from researchers at Binghamton University, New York, have been published in the journal Nature. The study used brain scans to see how practicing meditation for 10 minutes a day changed the cognitive behaviour of 10 students over an eight-week trial.

When comparing the before and after data, the researchers found that meditation led to faster switching between the brain’s two general states of consciousness: the ‘default mode network’, which is active when the brain is awake but not focused, such as during daydreaming; and the ‘dorsal attention network’, when the brain engages for attention-demanding tasks.

Assistant Professor at Binghamton University, Weiying Dai, was previously skeptical about the benefits of meditation. “I’m pretty convinced about the scientific basis of meditation after doing this study,” she said.

Dai is set to launch a new line of research to see whether regular meditation could help people with Alzheimer’s disease and autism. The two conditions have been linked to impairments in the dorsal attention network.

Read more in Positive News.

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ICYMI: Nine million trees have been planted in the heart of England

This year saw the National Forest in the Midlands, UK, plant its nine millionth tree. The tree was planted as part of a rewilding revolution in the heart of England, which aimed to reclaim an industrial landscape that was previously scarred by centuries of mining.

The project began in the early 1990s and has since grown to transform 200-square miles of old coal mines and quarries, into beautiful, growing forests, parks and nature reserves.

As the nine millionth tree was planed whilst the UK was in lockdown, rather than hosting a live event, the National Forest decided to mark the occasion with one of the nation’s favourite outdoor characters, Shaun the Sheep. Watch the light-hearted video here:

 

 

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Charli Ferrand

Charli wrote her first novel at the tender age of 9, then dabbled in the idea of becoming a professional ballerina for a few years, before returning to her love of writing, acquiring a BA (Hons) in Journalism, Film & Broadcast from Cardiff University in the UK. A three-month holiday in Australia turned into a 11 year residency, during which Charli cemented her career in PR & Marketing Communications working with some of the biggest brands in the world. She also gained her citizenship, discovered her passion for sustainability and eventually ended up coming full circle, combining her professional skills with her love of the planet and oceans into her role as Editor-in-Chief of Earth Collective. A trained journalist, experienced communications professional and qualified Mental Health First Aider, Charli has her finger on the pulse of the latest political and environmental developments around the world. You can find her writing about current affairs, political activism and mental health.

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