English versions of the articles
The efforts of the Swedish agency for marine and water managemnet (Swam) are aimed at making an impact, both in Sweden and internationally, to decrease the amount of waste that is being dumped in the world’s seas and oceans. This involves, for example, providing financial support to projects focused on stopping or limiting marine pollution, along with managing the waste that has already been dumped at sea.
The Norwegian Polar Institute have published a report regarding marine litter in the Artic. For the Arctic, which is far from the industrialized and highly populated areas, marine plastic litter is an ongoing and increasing problem. However, much of the litter is probably transported from denser populated areas in Europe and beyond by the sea currents. This emphasizes the importance of both local and regional cooperation, also for marine litter from the fishing industry.
In Norway, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has carried out annual retrieval survey in the Atlantic and Barents Sea since the 1980s to catch lost fishing gear. The surveys is based on extensive information gathering of lost gears. Since 1983, the Directorate of Fisheries has picked up over 572 km of gillnets. Furthermore, Norway has cleaned up after abandoned facilities for shellfish farming. In the last two years, a pilot project for "Fishing for litter" has also been carried out, where fishing gear accounts for a significant part of the waste where the fishermen themselves fish during their own trips. Through annual beach cleaning surveys, thousands of voluntary Norwegians has gathered a large amount of gear and ropes along the entire Norwegian coast. Our own and foreign fishermen's gear contributes to a significant part of the coastal litter. In addition to all of the implemented cleanup measures, it is going to be implemented more preventative measures because the most important thing is to avoid littering in the first place. However, the cleanup must continue in order to minimize the environmental impact of lost gears and other plastic waste that will occur in the marine environment.
This year's Keep Norway Beautiful conference had a Nordic profile with Norwegian, Nordic and International speakers. There was broad consensus that regional cooperation and measures are crucial for meeting an ever-increasing global challenge with littering of the oceans. New surveys show that fishing gear or components from these make up a high proportion.
The EU Commission adopts a strategy on plastics, which will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation. The strategy is design to address the challenges posed by plastics throughout the value chain, taking into account the entire life cycle, and aims to contribute to a new plastics economy.
An estimated 10 million tonnes of plastic waste, including discarded fishing gear, ends up in landfills in Europe every year. An additional estimated 25 million tonnes of plastics are incinerated, which is not in line with a circular economy. Plastix is a Danish cleantech company transforming waste fishing nets and trawls into valuable green raw materials.