Measures in Norway, Denmark and Sweden
The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has carried out annual cleanup/ retrieval survey after lost fishing gear with a hired vessel. This is done on the fishing grounds along the Norwegian coast. The basis for the retrieval survey is the loss of fishing gear that are reported to the Coast Guard Center and considerable amounts of information that is collected through other channels. The survey was started in 1980, but from 2010, 5 weeks have been used annually for this survey.
Anually, almost 1000 gillnets, pots, longlines, ropes, wire, ankers and other kind of fishing gear and components form fishing gear is retrieved. Through cooperation with NOFIR AS (www.nofir.no ), a lot of the recovered gear sent for recycling.
Technical development processes are also carried out with the hope for solutions for quicker and easier gear recovery from the seabed by positioning markers and solutions that will make the lost gear unfishable after a specified time after these have been lost.
The use of biodegradable materials in gillnets has also been tested but so far, the result has been unsatisfactory. Further research and testing is ongoing.
Through information work and regulations on gear such as reporting requirements when setting and hauling and limitation on gears time in water without checking, the loss of gear has declined. However, much can be improved and solutions that can contribute to less loss of fishing gear is always sought after.
There is no organized recovery of lost fishing gear in Denmark. Fishermen, who catches lost fishing gear during their fishing operations will as far as possible bring them to shore for disposal. In the Danish fishing harbours both ghostnets and worn-out fishing gear can be handed in for disposal or recycling without costs to the fishermen.
Finding and recovering ghost nets is a part of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management’s (SWAM) Programme of measures for good marine environmental status 2020. SWAM is responsible for both fund allocation and coordination of appropriate partner organisations to promote efficient and sustainable collection and handling of derelict fishing gear (DFG), as well as to prevent additional losses of fishing gear.
Legislation requires that ports have waste reception facilities. Ship-generated waste includes waste that arises during the operation of the ship, for example worn out fishing gear. The port reception facilities can also be used for disposing of waste unintentionally caught during fishing operations, such as bycatch, ghost nets or other debris. You can to apply for funding for projects aimed at keeping the seas free from DFG and marine debris through the Swedish Board of Agriculture's Fisheries Program. Grants are available for a variety of measures including the recovery of DFG using creeper or grapnel gear, information campaigns, or purchasing gears to collect ghost nets and other marine debris. The municipality of Trelleborg and Region Skåne have jointly developed a tool for reporting found ghost nets. By entering the coordinates of the found ghost net in the tool, the coordinates are displayed on the website for anyone interested in recovering the net.