Project

DeFishGear
Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region

Priority and Measure
Measure 2.1 – Protection and Enhancement of the Marine and Coastal Environment
Priority 2 - Natural and cultural resources and risk prevention
EUSAIR Pillars
Environmental quality, blue growth
Type of Project
Strategic
Interviewee
Andrej Kržan
Interviewee role
Project coordinator
Organization
National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Laboratory for Polymer Chemistry and Technology
E-mail
andrej.krzan@ki.si
Telephone
+386 1 4760 296
Project website
www.defishgear.net
Budget in euros
5.254.186,00

Partners

Role Name City Country Contact Person Email / website
Lead Partner National Institute of Chemistry Ljubljana Slovenia Andrej Kržan Andrej.krzan@ki.si
Partner 1 Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research Chioggia / Rome Italy Otello Giovanardi otello.giovanardi@isprambiente.it
Partner 2 Ca’ Foscari University of Venice Venice Italy Giulio Pojana jp@unive.it
Partner 3 Mediterranean Consortium Rome Italy Paolo Pelusi pelusi@mediterraneo.coop
Partner 4 Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in the Emilia-Romagna Region Bologna Italy Christina Mazziotti cmazziotti@arpa.emr.it
Partner 5 Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia Ljubljana Slovenia Manca Kovač Viršek manca.virsek@izvrs.si
Partner 6 University of Nova Gorica, Laboratory for Environmental Research Nova Gorica Slovenia Mladen Franko mladen.franko@ung.si
Partner 7 Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries Split Croatia Pero Tutman tutman@izor.hr
Partner 8 Hydro-Engineering Institute of the Faculty of Civil Engineering Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Melina Džajić- Valjevac melina.dzajic-valjevac@heis.ba
Partner 9 University of Montenegro, Institute of Marine Biology Kotor Montenegro Milica Mandić mamilica@ac.me
Partner 10 Agricultural University of Tirana, Laboratory of Fisheries and Aquaculture Tirana Albania Jerina Kolitari j.kolitari@gmail.com
Partner 11 Regional Council of Lezha Lezha Albania Kozeta Leka kozetaleka@googlemail.com
Partner 12 Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development Athens Greece Thomias Vlachogianni vlachogianni@mio-ecsde.org
Partner 13 Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Institute of Oceanography Anavyssos Greece Christina Zeri chris@hcmr.gr
Partner 14 Public Institution RERA SD for Coordination and Development of Split Dalmatia County Split Croatia Gorana Baničević gorana.banicevic@rera.hr  
Partner 15 Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) Lecce Italy Giovanni Coppini Giovanni.coppini@cmcc.it  

Project Description

Description

Project description

The DeFishGear project addressed the wider marine litter issue that threatens the marine ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea to provide key strategic input on a regional level, which was missing in the Adriatic Region until now. Involving different stakeholders, the project delivered first assessments of marine litter based on data from pilot areas, better knowledge on microplastic pollution and its effects on marine biota, and put pilot actions for derelict fishing gear in place so that they will continue to promote the reduction of marine litter beyond the lifetime of the project.
 

What has been done during the Project lifespan in order to achieve its main goal(s)?

The aim of the DeFishGear project was to reduce marine litter (ML) in the Adriatic Sea. This was accomplished with the first ML assessment and the establishment of a regional network of experts, who will continue to help ensure a sustainable joint ML management in the Adriatic. The project focused on three areas directly related to ML: macro-litter, microplastics and derelict fishing gear and fishing for litter activities. Project initiated regionally synchronized activities for ML (including microplastics) assessment and a common approach to minimizing ML pollution with special attention to collaboration with the fishing community. A joint monitoring and assessment approach to marine litter was defined. Improved knowledge on the occurrence, amounts, sources and impacts (including socio-economic) of ML were presented with events, which took place across the region. The events included 4 international conferences, 2 scientific and 2 policy-oriented events with participants from the entire Mediterranean area.
 

Which are the Project main results/impacts?

Result/Impact 1: FIRST ASSESSMENT OF MARINE LITTER POLLUTION (MACRO/MICRO LITTER) IN THE ADRIATIC

By carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the status (amounts, composition, impacts) of ML (both macro-litter and micro-litter) in the Adriatic through harmonized and coordinated monitoring activities based on prepared common assessment methodologies, the region gained increased skills and capacities to perform ML monitoring in different marine environmental compartments, increased knowledge on occurrence, amounts, hot spots and sources of ML, increased knowledge about microplastics in the sea surface, beach sediment, biota and rivers, and about nanoplastics.

Result/Impact 2: ASSESSMENT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MARINE LITTER ON COASTAL COMMUNITIES

A comprehensive analysis of economic impacts was performed based on data gathered from different sectors (fisheries, aquaculture, harbours and marinas, tourism, municipalities and NGOs), which provided an overview of the situation in the Adriatic. Based on this, a socio-economic analysis of direct (removal costs) and indirect (environmental, social, health and safety) impacts of marine litter was made, which will facilitate the appropriate management of human activities to ensure sustainable management of both marine and coastal environments.

Result/Impact 3: ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL NETWORK OF EXPERTS ON MARINE LITTER

Capacities to monitor marine litter in a harmonized way through reinforced exchange of experiences, techniques and know-how were developed.

Results/Impact 4: DERELICT FISHING GEAR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND “FISHING FOR LITTER” ACTIVITIES

A system to collect and recycle derelict fishing gear and implement “fishing for litter” activities in an environment-friendly way was established. Different pilot activities involving fishermen and their associations, port authorities and different local authorities contributed to the restoration of the coastal marine environment, which could help prevent pollution and protect the marine environment in the long run. The targeted awareness-raising campaign increased the awareness among fishermen, policy makers, educational communities and others of the impacts of marine litter and the types of action needed to address this issue effectively.

Result/Impact 5: DEVELOPMENT OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND POLICY OPTIONS

Based on sound scientific evidence and knowledge about how to meet regional and national objectives regarding marine litter (Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, Ecosystem Approach, etc.) recommendations and policy options were developed.