English versions of the articles
Momentum for creating truly effective solutions to put an end to ghost nets has never been higher, states Thomas Kirk Sørensen, Ocean Programme Manager, WWF Denmark in his article about the current status in Denmark
For several years, the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries has had an app available with information regarding recreational fishing. In 2017, the app was updated to include reporting of lost your fishing gear. A new version will be available during summer 2018, where divers can report if they retrieve any ghost gear from the sea. Furthermore, the data will be sent to Norway’s largest research institution (Institute of marine research) to contribute in research and mapping the problem with ghost fishing
The international Circular Ocean conference in Ålesund 18th-19th of April 2018 had participants from all over the world. In conjunction with the conference, it was also launched an innovation competition to address the problem by seeking new product concepts that utilize plastic.
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.