A common protocol of action in all ports would guarantee the correct management of fishing gear waste, says Spanish body CEPESCA

A common protocol of action in all ports would guarantee the correct management of fishing gear waste, says CEPESCA

A common protocol of action in all ports would guarantee the correct management of fishing gear waste, says CEPESCA

The existence of a common management protocol in Spanish fishing ports for the treatment of fishing gear waste would increase the guarantee of proper management of these, as well as the amount of material managed. 

This is the main conclusion of the project RED-USE project: “Towards a responsible management system for fishing gear”, promoted by CEPESCA and which has just presented its final results, during a conference held today with interested sector agents and target audience. The meeting also briefly presented the contents of the European Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and the Council and its transposition including through the future new law on waste and contaminated soils.

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Likewise, and according to the project’s conclusion, nylon fishing gear would a priori be more easily thermo-mechanically recyclable than high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the latter being the most suitable chemical process for recycling.

Cepesca has developed the RED-USE project in collaboration with the Biodiversity Foundation, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, through the Pleamar Program, co-financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (FEMP). The project has not only aimed to define a proposal for the sustainable management of waste derived from fishing nets and gear , but has also tried to facilitate the understanding of the future challenges that the future new law on waste and contaminated soils represents for the producers of fishing gear , as well as getting all the agents involved in the Spanish fishing sector involved in this reality.

In general terms, the execution of the program of this project has been developed through four types of fundamental actions: diagnose the situation of the problems associated with the management of waste derived from fishing nets and gear; carry out a scientific / technical study of the composition, resistance and durability of the selected gear ; propose a protocol for the management of fishing nets and gear and, lastly, communication and awareness aimed at the different agents of the fishing sector and the public of interest.

Conclusions

As stated during the meeting, and after the initial diagnosis, the “Report on Technical Characterization of Fishing Gear and Gear Used in Spanish Ports” generated from the information collected from the representative fishing ports chosen for the study, concludes that: “there is no common management protocol, each port has different systems and there are even without any management plan. This common protocol for the management of discarded fishing gear and gear would increase the guarantee of proper management of this waste, as well as the amount of material managed”.

According to the previous report, “the recycling and reuse of certain gear is a great challenge as it is composed of complex materials, mainly in trawling where compounds of different polymers and elements such as lead prevail. Others, on the other hand, such as gillnets, facilitate their recycling and reuse by the fibres of the same material (polyamide) from which they are composed. With a view to the future implementation of extended producer responsibility, the use of fishing gear produced with the same material would facilitate reuse or recycling, allowing progress towards a circular economy in fishing gear”.

On the other hand, and according to the ” Analysis of the composition, resistance and durability of fishing gear and gear used by the Spanish fishing fleet” which focused on a chemical identification of samples and the evaluation of the degree of degradation based on the characteristics physical and chemical: “the materials most used in all the arts used are from the family of polyamides (nylon 6 and nylon 66), as well as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polyolefins. The chemical structure of polyamide-type polymers is a priori more stable against degradation than HDPE materials. However, nylon gear would a priori be more easily thermo-mechanically recyclable than HDPE gear. As for HDPE, the most suitable recycling would be chemical”.

The project has also established a procedure to implement the proposed protocol for the management of discarded fishing nets and gear in Spanish ports, through a roadmap. The protocol proposal was submitted for consultation and validation by sectoral agents, concluding on the need to adapt it to a model that takes into account, among other aspects, the essential figure of the net erector together with the multiple composition of the nets and rigging.

Finally, through initiatives such as RED-USE, CEPESCA wants to bring the new legal provisions and obligations that may affect them closer to the target audience, as well as to adequately develop awareness and effective dissemination.

After the completion now of RED-USE, RED-USE II is launched to continue with the necessary actions to achieve the implementation of an effective management system for responsible fishing gear.

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Spanish fisheries body calls for common protocol on fishing gear waste

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