Marine litter -any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment- poses a major threat to wildlife and ecosystems, as well as, to humans and their livelihoods. Marine litter is a complex and multi-faceted issue with environmental, economic, safety, health and cultural implications. Marine litter knows no boundaries and represents a pervasive and persistent problem that expands beyond borders away from the source of origin. Coordinated and multi-sectoral action is key to combating marine litter.
A pilot project for coordinated and harmonized actions on the science-policy-society interface for litter-free Adriatic and Ionian Seas
The DeFishGear Project originated as a response to the need for dealing effectively with the issue of marine litter in the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion, towards litter-free coasts and sea. It aims to facilitate efforts for integrated planning to reduce the environmental impacts of litter-generating activities and ensure the sustainable management of the marine and coastal environment of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.
The DeFishGear approach to combat marine litter entails sharing scientific knowledge and obtaining accurate, coherent and comparable scientific data that will ultimately facilitate the implementation of coordinated and multi-sectoral actions.
- Improved knowledge on the occurrence, amounts, sources and impacts (including socio-economic impacts) of marine litter (including microplastics) in the Adriatic;
- Harmonized marine litter monitoring activities in the Adriatic region and enhanced collaboration as a building block for future actions;
- Strengthened & reinforced science-policy interface to support the integration of sound science into policy and decision making in effectively tackling marine litter;
- Joint, coordinated and/or complementary schemes to manage human activities generating litter in the Adriatic Sea and strengthened implementation of relevant policy frameworks (Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Regional Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, Ecosystem Approach, Maritime Spatial Planning, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, etc.)
- policy and decision makers at local, national, european and regional levels;
- the research community;
- NGOs and CSOs;
- key stakeholders that benefit from and depend on the marine environment such as proffessionals from economic sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and shipping, as well as the wider public.
The DeFishGear project provides strategic input to European and European Regional Seas efforts in successfully achieving good environmental status with regards to marine litter.
The DeFishGear project is a concrete contribution to the main legislative marine litter related frameworks in the Adriatic-Ionian macroregion, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the UNEP/MAP Regional Plan for Marine litter Management in the Mediterranean. Furthemore, the project activities and outputs promote the implementation of the ecosystem approach and the implementation of the ICZM protocol.