DeFishGear Project

Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region
DeFishGear project

“The Adriatic Coast and Sea – Litter Free!”

Starting/ending date:
01/11/2013 – 31/03/2016


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.




  • 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;
  • 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.);
  • Establishment of a Regional Network of Experts on marine litter;
  • Development of capacities to monitor marine litter in a harmonized way through reinforced exchange of experiences, techniques and know-how;
  • 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.



  • Improved knowledge base on the occurrence, amounts, sources and impacts (including socio-economic impacts) of all types of marine litter including micro-plastics in the Adriatic
  • Harmonized marine litter monitoring activities in the Adriatic and enhanced collaboration as a building block for future actions
  • A strengthened & reinforced science-policy interface on 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 (MSFD,ICZM, ECAP, MSP, etc.) at the regional level


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