The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) invited MARELITT Baltic to a workshop on marine litter during the Fish Forum 2018 in Rome, Italy. The workshop focused on plastic litter from the fisheries sector. With 40 international participants, the topic raised a keen interest among FAO fisheries representatives, NGOs, scientists as well as fishing harbour managers and fisheries associations.
The goal of the workshop was to bring together stakeholders involved in solving the problem of plastic litter entering the sea, especially during fishing and harbour activities. The 5 invited presentations ranged from EU policy and international law against marine litter to NGOs working on mitigation measures. MARELITT Baltic was invited to present the results of our 3-year effort to mitigate the impact of lost fishing gear in the Baltic Sea. Not only during the MARELITT Baltic overview, but also during 2 policy-oriented presentations a strong point was made that harbour reception facilities for both fishing nets retrieved from the sea and end-of-life fishing gear is urgently needed. The workshop resulted in policy recommendations for further steps to mitigate the impact of marine litter from the fisheries sector on the marine ecosystem.