Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Implementing your project, Raising awareness of the causes and impact of DFG

See also: Selection 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 | Project communication

Raising awareness of the causes of DFG and of the problems caused by DFG is likely to be an objective of your project. Building the awareness will encourage changes in behaviour to prevent DFG in the future.

Developing an awareness raising strategy includes defining the problem you want to alleviate, the stakeholders that should be targeted to alleviate the problem, the possible measures that they could take to avoid the DFG or to mitigate its impact and a set of tailored messages, activities that encourage changes in behaviour of the relevant stakeholders. Communicating about the impacts and successes of your project will help to raise awareness of DFG in general.

Awareness raising activities should have a first focus on fishermen as they are the groups that are primarily responsible for and impacted by the problem of DFG. However, other stakeholder groups should also be targeted, because of their potential to reduce the DFG problem. You could raise awareness of the problem among ports, to try to address the lack of adequate port reception facilities for used gear. Your awareness-raising activities could also target gear manufacturers, who could consider changes to the design of gear to avoid the problem of DFG.

If raising awareness is a specific objective in your project, particularly if you include this objective in a funding application for your project, monitoring and evaluating the impacts of your communication activities will be important.