Save the Med Collage, Source: Save The Med

The Balearic Islands’ ports join in the fight against ghost fishing

The Balearic Islands’ ports join in the fight against ghost fishing

This unique initiative wants to be a role model for coastal communities around the world

“Tots per la mar” (All together for the sea) is the name of a new project that was announced yesterday on the website of the Government of the Balearic Islands. It comes as a result of an agreement signed between the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands, Ports IB, the Federation of Fishermen’s Guilds and Save the Med Foundation, all of which want to demonstrate their commitment to the recovery of local marine ecosystems.

Ghost fishing is an environmental problem of which not many are aware

Save the Med Foundation is an environmental non-profit organization which is allied with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) to carry out a pioneering project that seeks to lessen the impact on marine wildlife caused by ghost fishing.

So, what is ghost fishing?

Much of the fishing gear and equipment that is used gets discarded or lost in the open sea. Since it has been designed to be durable, it can take centuries for it to disintegrate. In the meantime, all these fishing nets and longlines will continue floating and accumulate as debris on the waters.

Apart from the obvious problem with the drifting trash accumulation in the pristine environment, the discarded gear starts attracting small fish. That, in turn, will attract larger fish and sea turtles which easily get trapped in the nets leading to unnecessary injury and death of the animals.

That is why the new initiative wants to promote collaboration between all the parties that have something to do with ghost gear and make the ports the central hubs for this environmental action. They will make their moorings available to Save the Med vessels and will also provide collection points for fishing artefacts and marine litter.

Furthermore, the multi-partite collaboration will develop initiatives that will include educational programs and outings that raise awareness and involve the public in doing their part in keeping the seas clean. Likewise, advocacy campaigns, scientific research and monitoring of protected areas will be carried out.

“Tots per la mar” is seen as the regional contribution to the larger Marine Strategy Framework Directive of the European Commission. Last month, the Commission came out with a report on that strategy which recommended stronger measures against the various types of marine pollution.



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