MARELITT Baltic first international conference

Thank you for your participation in the MARELITT Baltic project first international conference on December 1st in Malmö, Sweden. The target group of the conference was associated partners and other stakeholders, and we hope you had an instructive and inspiring day together! It´s good to see that there are so many people engaged in the problem regarding derelict fishing gear in the Baltic Sea. Hopefully we can make even more people aware of the problem and its consequences so we can find more solutions. MARELITT Baltic is the first transnational initiative working specifically with the problem and will result in far-reaching proposals for minimizing the problem and an enhanced international readiness to act.

One issue raised at the conference was that legislation needs to find systemic solution for ghost nets, as well as modernisation of port reception facilities. Which will be a big challenge in the future. Fishermen still throw ghost nets in the sea due to the high costs of leaving nets in the port. But also because the control is to weak. International rules and recommendations do exists. Some of them are implemented in 1990’s but so far have had little effect.

A common and almost unanimous believe that came up during the day was that the best way to work with the problem is improved reporting and carefully planned and executed retrieval campaigns! Due to the acknowledged change in attitude, this might become the core of a viable, long-term solution!

Lastly, representatives from HELCOM could unfortunately not attend the conference but we appreciate that they sent a letter of support. In the letter HELCOM welcomes the envisaged work to be conducted within the project and they offer the HELCOM platform for considering the project milestones and results, for the benefit of all involved in marine litter work.