Marine litter recovery: Pilot project fishing for litter (MARELITT)
Client: DG Environment
The overall objective of this pilot project was to assist EU Member States in reaching the objective laid out in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) of achieving “good environmental status’ for EU marine waters by 2020, by collecting in an effective and efficient manner litter from the marine environment, which is a growing problem posing an increasingly serious threat to the environment. The specific objectives of this project (renamed ‘MARELITT’) included to:
1. assess existing forms of fishing for litter (FFL) and existing FFL projects from an organisational, economic and environmental angle, with a view to define what best practices are in collecting marine litter from the marine environment in a cost-effective manner that helps to better achieve the objective set in the MSFD on ‘good environmental status’. The assessment focused on the situation in the EU, but also gathered practices from non-EU countries that share European seas and/or have gained experience with the implementation of FFL practices.
2. launch or maintain self-sustaining FFL projects in all 4 regional seas that apply and further develop the best practices identified. A proper selection of project locations and host organisations, and the provision of the necessary support of the selected organisations were crucial to achieving this objective. The preparation of business case studies and the discussion on them at a Brussels workshop (and subsequently at regional workshops) was also instrumental to the success of this project.
3. strengthen the capacities of the stakeholders and to raise their awareness, by engaging them in several steps of the project. Both direct stakeholders that will implement the projects and the wider stakeholders that are responsible for or affected by the marine litter, were engaged. It was also be necessary to assemble all expertise, knowledge and insights gained under the project and to make it accessible to the stakeholders during and after the lifetime of the project. The dedicated website and the toolkit was instrumental in achieving this objective.
4. encourage potential host organisations to set up their own FFL projects, even after the life time of this project, using the guidance provided by the toolkit