Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Implementing your project, Development of prevention and mitigation measures

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 | Raising awareness of the causes and impact of DFG | Project communication

Retrieval operations are only one aspect of tackling the DFG problem. Ideally, DFG retrieval operations are combined with efforts to prevent the occurrence of DFG, to register losses (facilitating retrieval) and to mitigate the impacts of DFG. Therefore, you should consider whether your project could also implement or support prevention and mitigation measures. Some of these measures may require legal or policy changes, so in these cases, you may wish to contact the relevant authorities to explore these measures further.

Preventive measures are the most effective way to reduce DFG, as they avoid the occurrence of DFG and its impacts. These measures can include:

Mitigation measures can include the:

A more detailed overview of the possible measures is given in the Overview of Prevention and Mitigation measures available for download. 

To enhance acceptance of the measures, gear manufacturers should be encouraged to avoid changes to gear that increase costs of fishing, through reduced effectiveness of the gear, higher prices of the gear or higher cost of using the gear. For example, gear made from natural fibers is still less durable than synthetic gear and may require additional treatment. Due to the economic advantages of using synthetic gear, the return to biodegradable netting is still very limited so far

The development of innovative solutions, such as the use of net materials that increase sound reflectivity and hence could reduce the by-catch of non-target species such as cetaceans, are being encouraged through initiatives such as the International Smart Gear Competition ( of the WWF.

Prevention and mitigation measures