As the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) recognized the urgency to address marine plastic litter from ships, an Action Plan was adopted at its seventy-third session (resolution MEPC.310(73)). To contribute to an ambitious plan to reduce marine litter, in particular ‘Abandoned/Lost/Discarded Fishing Gear’ (ALDFG), the Netherlands submitted an Information Paper to IMO PPR 9: “Key findings of a source analysis study on fishing nets collected on the coastline of the Arctic and North-East Atlantic regions”. [Full study report available here]
KIMO International together with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Wageningen Economic Research and Leeways Marine, therefore invited interested Member States and Policy and Technical experts to join this webinar to review the current knowledge on the sources of- and causes for stranded ghost nets in the North Atlantic region, along with best practices for mitigation. The seminar took place online on the 19th of April.
Two of the key findings to emerge from the seminar were that 1) most pieces of net found are relatively small and that 2) the majority of net cuttings waste can be prevented by improved waste management practices. This is essentially good news and reiterates the value of Best Practice Guidelines such as those developed during KIMO’s net cuttings project which were presented by Ryan Metcalfe at the seminar (available to download below).
We look forward to continued work with research partners and the fishing industry to further reduce the amount of ALDFG in our seas.