PILOT PROJECT: REMOVAL OF MARINE LITTER FROM EUROPE'S FOUR REGIONAL SEAS
Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Implementing your projectSelection of locations | Timing of retrieval operations | Technical parameters for the vessels | Involving fishermen in retrieval | Involving divers in retrieval | Reception of DFG at the port | Recycling and disposal | Monitoring DFG | Development of prevention and mitigation measures | Raising awareness of the causes and impact of DFG | Project communication
Prior to undertaking any retrieval operation, a DFG retrieval plan should be developed, following the guidelines that have been developed under the project. The plan should include information on:
- The location, where the retrieval will be conducted.
- The types of gear that will be retrieved.
- The methods and equipment that will be used.
- All participants in the retrieval operation.
- The environmental impacts of the operation (related to sensitive vegetation on the sea bed; risk of destroying spawning areas, etc.) and any mitigation measures that will be taken. If the negative impact on the environment from the retrieval operation would exceed the damage caused by the DFG, it is more appropriate to leave the DFG in place or to disable the gear (for example, reducing its catching efficiency by bundling it), instead of retrieving it. The DFG retrieval plan should evaluate these options.
- The potential health and safety risks and how they are being addressed. Risks may include risks from chemical weapons dumped in the sea during WWII, safety risks to divers, risks to the vessel and its equipment, risks of damaging archaeological cultural heritage, like historical shipwrecks.
- All notifications that must be given and all permits that must be obtained.
- The arrangements for landing, disposal and/or recycling of the gear.
- The reporting arrangements that will be followed, not only for DFG, but for example also for hazardous materials that may be encountered.
Retrieval of DFG may legally require advance notice to the competent authorities or permits, as submerged objects, including fishing gears, may have become state property. Permits may also be required to take protected species from their habitats. In some countries, preliminary impact assessments may also be required. When planning your project, you should consult the relevant competent authorities on this issue.
Picture: Bo Landén