- Title: Poles wade through Baltic "like herrings" to commune with the sea
- Date: 18th August 2019
- Summary: HEL PENINSULA, POLAND (AUGUST 17, 2019) (REUTERS) PARTICIPANTS IN "HERRING MARCH" WEARING WET SUITS WALKING TOWARDS BAY PARTICIPANTS WALKING VIEW OF BALTIC SEA FROM BOAT / FLAG OF EVENT PARTICIPANTS WADING IN THE WATER VIEW FROM BOAT AT SEA OF PENINSULA SHOWING MARCHERS WALKING ON A SAND BAY IN THE WATER PARTICIPANTS SWIMMING FIRST PARTICIPANT TO REACH HALF WAY POINT CARRYING FLAG PARTICIPANT RECEIVING A BREAD LOAF, A PIECE OF HERRING AND A BANANA FLAG / PARTICIPANTS ARRIVING AT HALFWAY POINT VOLUNTEER HANDING OUT PIECES OF HERRING TO PARTICIPANTS (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) FOUNDER OF HERRING MARCH EVENT, RADOSLAW TYSLEWICZ, SAYING: ''We can see the sea everywhere here, water is everywhere. All pollution, anyone in Poland - in Warsaw or Cracow - who washes the dishes or flushes the toilet, the water goes here to the Baltic (Sea) and affects our ecosystem here on Puck Bay and Gdansk Bay. If someone participates in the Herring March and sees this place, we think they will use the environment more consciously and will care to make it as clean and as nice as it is today.'' VARIOUS OF PARTICIPANTS RECEIVING HERRING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOUNDER OF HERRING MARCH EVENT, RADOSLAW TYSLEWICZ, SAYING: ''It is quite a long story because informally, in all of Poland, if you are a citizen of Gdynia city you will be called "the herring" because we have to two fishes in our city sign, I was born in Gdynia and I live in Gdynia so that's why I used this name for this march." PARTICIPANTS SITTING ON SAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARTICIPANT FROM WARSAW, MONICA, SAYING: ''I like fish but not herring, shhhhh...'' PARTICIPANTS' FEET AS THE WAVES HIT SHORE PARTICIPANTS LYING ON THE SAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARTICIPANT FROM SOUTH OF POLAND WHO WORKS AS A MUSEUM DIRECTOR IN SANDOMIERZ CITY AND WHOSE FAMILY LIVES IN GDANSK, KACPER PLAZA, SAYING: ''The first when you go into the water, and to feel that it is on your knees, and then on your shoulders and then you have to swim and swim and swim, and more swimming and more swimming and you really feel that it is very hard and then suddenly it bends, and you've got sand beneath your feet.'' PLAZA'S FEET IN THE SAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARTICIPANT FROM SOUTH OF POLAND WHO WORKS AS A MUSEUM DIRECTOR IN SANDOMIERZ CITY AND WHOSE FAMILY LIVES IN GDANSK, KACPER PLAZA, SAYING: ''You feel free and you feel connected with nature actually, so it is really special.'' PARTICIPANTS LOOKING OUT TO THE SEA WAVES SPLASHING BACK AND FORTH PARTICIPANTS WADING BACK INTO THE WATER FOR THE REST OF THE MARCH AS SEEN FROM A MOVING BOAT PARTICIPANTS REACHING END POINT AND BEING CHEERED BY FAMILY AND ONLOOKERS FAMILY CARRYING A FISH SIGN VARIOUS OF FAMILY MEMBERS CHEERING AND TAKING PICTURES AS PARTICIPANT ARRIVES PEOPLE WAITING IN THE WATERS FOR MORE PARTICIPANTS TO ARRIVE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARTICIPANT FROM SOUTH OF POLAND WHO WORKS AS A MUSEUM DIRECTOR IN SANDOMIERZ CITY AND WHOSE FAMILY LIVES IN GDANSK, KACPER PLAZA, SAYING: JOURNALIST ASKING: ''So how was it?'' ''Very well." JOURNALIST ASKING: "You survived?" "Yes, the waves were not so big, the water quite warm, the distance alright, so as you can see, I feel very well, so...'' / KACPER'S FEET WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARTICIPANT FROM SOUTH OF POLAND WHO WORKS AS A MUSEUM DIRECTOR IN SANDOMIERZ CITY AND WHOSE FAMILY LIVES IN GDANSK, KACPER PLAZA, SAYING: ''I will receive this medal, or how to call this, diploma, and then I will to go celebrate with family, drink pint of beer probably.'' KACPER WALKING AWAY
- Embargoed: 1st September 2019 18:12
- Keywords: Puck Bay Herring March Poland herring extreme sports sea Baltic Sea
- Location: HEL PENINSULA, POLAND
- City: HEL PENINSULA, POLAND
- Country: Poland
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001ASQU249
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Once a year, Poles head to the Hel Peninsula on the northern coast near Gdynia to "become herrings" and wade up to a metre deep for five hours along a 10-km (six-mile) sand bank through the Baltic Sea.
The "Herring March" was set up by Radoslaw Tyslewicza in 2002 to raise environmental awareness and understanding of the sea.
The march is named after the herring that swim in the shallow waters of the Baltic, and the nickname by which locals of Gdynia are known.
Founder, Tyslewicza says the march is also an opportunity to raise environmental awareness amongst the participants and ensure the Baltic water is kept clean.
Despite this aim, the march has sparked criticism among environmentalists and researchers who argue that the trampling of the seabed might be a threat to nature.
They say it can hurt this sort of natural reserve which is included in the areas of Natura 2000, a network of core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species listed under two specific European Union directives.
But marchers see it as a largely pleasant endeavour.
For Kacper Plaza, a marcher from southern Poland, it was a well-earned pint of beer at the end of the day after a two hour swim to reach the last point.
''The waves were not so big, the water quite warm, the distance alright, '' he said as he walked the final steps on the sand
(Production: Matej Leskovsek, Malgorzata Wojtunik, Ayat Basma)
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