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IPA Adriatic - DeFishGear


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.

The DeFishGear project 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 Sea. Ultimately, the DeFishGear project will provide a strategic input to regional efforts in successfully achieving good environmental status in the Mediterranean Sea.

The DeFishGear activities are implemented by a multi-disciplinary team comprising academia, research institutes, national and local authorities and NGOs from all seven countries of the Adriatic Sea, reinforcing and strengthening cooperation and fostering joint and harmonized actions towards a litter-free Adriatic.


1.    Carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the status (amounts, composition, impacts) of marine litter (macro-litter & micro-litter) in the Adriatic through harmonized and coordinated monitoring activities ;

2.    Development of recommendations and policy options based on sound-scientific evidence and knowledge to meet regional and national objectives regarding marine litter (Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean, Ecosystem Approach, etc.).

3.    Establishment of a Regional Network of Experts on marine litter;

4.    Development of capacities to monitor marine litter in a harmonized way through reinforced exchange of experiences, techniques and know-how;

5.    Setting up of a system to collect and recycle derelict fishing gear and implementation of 'fishing for litter' activities, in an environment-friendly way; Targeted awareness raising for fishermen, policy makers, educational community and others on the impacts of marine litter and the types of action needed to effectively address this issue.


DeFishGear workshop: a stepping stone towards harmonized marine litter monitoring in the Adriatic Sea

Monitoring of macro- and micro-litter was the focus of a two and half-day sub-regional workshop that took place in Split on 18-20 June 2014. It was co-organized by the Institute of Water of the Republic of Slovenia (IWRS) and the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) within the framework of the IPA Adriatic funded DeFishGear project.

The HEIS team along with thirty DeFishGear partner representatives as well as invited technical experts gathered to exchange experiences and know-how with regards to marine litter monitoring methodologies for macro- and micro- debris in different environmental compartments. The participants had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on microplastics sampling and floating macro-litter monitoring at the sea surface, beach litter monitoring, beach sediment sampling for micro-litter, pellets sampling for POPs analysis, on-site identification of synthetic materials with NIR spectroscopy, microplastics sample preparation and separation.


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