PILOT PROJECT: REMOVAL OF MARINE LITTER FROM EUROPE'S FOUR REGIONAL SEAS
Toolkit: Derelict Fishing Gear Retrieval, Complementary activities
You should consider whether there are any opportunities to cooperate with other types of marine litter projects in your local area. Your project might benefit from sharing efforts and resources with other projects in areas such as joint management of the marine litter collected or joint awareness campaigns.
Other types of projects that might be carried out in your local area include:
- Wreck-cleaning: Clearing wrecks of DFG requires a thorough understanding of the safety and environmental issues of DFG retrieval and should only be done by qualified divers with experience and training in wreck cleaning.
- Marine litter retention projects (sometimes referred to as ‘Fishing for Litter’ projects), under which fishermen are encouraged to store on board and to land marine litter that accumulated in their nets during regular fishing activity.
- Clean-up of port areas (mostly carried out by port authorities).
- Seasonal collection of floating litter from coastal waters (mostly by local authorities during the tourist season, sometimes with vessels also used for oils spills).
- Research projects, under which marine litter is being collected with a view to better understanding the problem.
- Beach clean-ups, which focus on clearing beaches of litter including DFG. The most common types of DFG found on beaches are gillnets, ropes, buoys and monofilament fishing lines. Even for the removal of DFG from beaches, which will mostly involve volunteers, common sense safety precautions (e.g. instruction on safe use of scissors or knives to cut the gear lose, wearing of heavy gloves, presence of a basic medical kit in case of injuries etc.) must be followed. DFG can be quite heavy and difficult to remove; however no mechanical equipment (vehicles, winches etc.) should be used to remove or to uncover DFG. If holes are dug in the beach, using hand tool to uncover buried DFG, they must be refilled to prevent injury to someone falling in the holes and to protect marine animals.
Picture: © WWF Poland / W Wojtowicz