Identifying the challenges and promoting the recommendations

To create awareness about lost fishing gear and bits and pieces from fishing gear is the main subject on the final conference by the Clean Nordic Oceans (CNO) in Gothenburg 21. and 22. November.

After three years the project was ready to present the findings and recommendations. A clear finding is that the Nordic countries has a great deal in common, but also a number of differences. The differences can be found in infrastructure (transportation, roads, fishing ports etc.), in geography (islands versus mainland) and differences when it comes to attitudes towards lost fishing gear, both political and in the industries.

- There are no easy solution, no one size fits all. In our approach towards the common recommendations we have divided the work in three main parts: Land based measures, sea based measures and active measures, says Gjermund Langedal, leader of the CNO Network.

CNO steering group, from left: Bård Aarbakke (Norway), Charlotta Stadig (Sweden) and Gjermund Langedal (Norway).Finn Larsen (Denmark) was not present

A major challenge is the lack of awareness of the problem caused by lost fishing gear and other fishery related litter. Also lack of sufficient legislation and the level of compliance is a challenge which need different measures.

Creating awareness amongst the fishermen and increase the knowledge, especially for the general public, is considered a good path forward in order to reduce marine littering from fisheries.

For sea based measures better marking of gear, code of conduct for responsible fishing, use of real time maps of the exact position of passive gear and ID-marking of fishing gear is among the recommendations from the CNO network.

- The CNO network is now in the ending phase, but the work will continue in different ways. The challenges from lost fishing gear will not be gone tomorrow, but we hope the network will contribute to a great reduction of marine littering from the fishing sector, says Langedal.

Presentations will be available shortly after the closure of the conference on the CNO web site