PILOT PROJECT: REMOVAL OF MARINE LITTER FROM EUROPE'S FOUR REGIONAL SEAS
Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Project participants, Participants in DFG retrievalSee also: Involvement of fishermen | Port authorities | Waste management and recycling companies
DFG retrieval activities will require the skills of fishermen and/or divers to retrieve the fishing gear. The potential roles and activities of fishermen and divers are discussed in more detail in Implementing your project.
To establish the skills you require for the retrieval operations that you intend to conduct under your project, you will need to establish the characteristics of the area to be cleaned (depth and topography of the seafloor, size of the area etc.) and the gear to be retrieved (types, amounts etc.). In addition, to decide on the number of participants, you will need to establish the required number of days at sea and take into account the budget you have available.
All participants who assist in DFG retrieval should be provided with a contract, the exact terms of which need to be discussed and agreed with each participant. Every contract should include at least a precise description of their tasks and guidance on how to carry them out and details of any payment. This guidance could come from DFG retrieval guidelines that you may develop under your project and attach to the contract. The guidelines should include the stringent safety and environmental protection requirements that participants have to meet. Some of these requirements will be legal, and will have been adopted by Member States on the basis of the relevant European Directives and/or on the basis of national experience.
Proper insurance coverage for all participants in the DFG retrieval operations should be foreseen in your project budget. It is recommended to relate payment to all organisations and individuals that retrieve DFG on your behalf to the time they work, rather than to the amount of gear recovered.
The removal of DFG requires specific skill sets and experience from the fishermen – especially when bulky or heavy nets are retrieved. It is recommended to work with active fishermen that have good knowledge of techniques and the targeted areas (i.e. of the level of activity of the various fisheries in these areas, now and in the past).
The crew of a participating vessel may include:
- A captain, whose duties may include: navigating the vessel; operating navigational instruments (GPS); using equipment (radar and sonar) to locate DFG; recording DFG retrieval activities in the ship’s log; directing the DFG retrieval operations; and supervising the crew.
- Other crew members whose duties may include the loading and unloading of equipment; guiding the retrieval gear; the operation of the hydraulic equipment and the pulling in of DFG; the unloading of retrieved DFG; storage of the unloaded DFG in the port, in line with the arrangements agreed with the port authorities.
Divers might be used to support retrieval operations, depending on the depth and the topography of the seafloor. Working with divers can help to minimise the impact of DFG removal on the marine environment and to increase its efficiency and effectiveness. A diving team could be composed of:
- Two or more divers in the water: A diver working the net, and at least one support diver standing off the net, to assist the working diver if entanglement occurs.
- Two or more persons on the vessel: A stand-by diver on the vessel, suited and ready to enter the water immediately after notification is given that the divers in the water need assistance, and a diving supervisor. If the vessel is to be moored, the diving supervisor and captain can be the same individual
DFG retrieval requires a thorough understanding of the safety and environmental issues of working with DFG. Only qualified divers with appropriate experience and training should attempt DFG retrieval.