Port visits and 15 minutes of fame for CIRCNETS

Port surveys - what is the status quo of EOL fishing gear collection?


"If you go down to the port today, you're sure of a big surprise..."

Putting oneself on the map should be first step that you take, when you are embarking on journey and heading towards waters that you have not explored yet. This was the starting point also in CIRCNETS, defining the current status of the collection of EOL fishing gear in the NPA countries. In the summer of 2023 the project partners set out to find out what is happening on this field in Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway and in Sweden.

The fishing ports of the participating programme regions were mapped out in spring and an online survey was drafted for them, which was sent out during summer. Responses were received from port operators from different corners of the programme region, but as you learn new things, your craving for more information gets just bigger. There was a need to go beyond the "tick the correct box" answers of the online survey and get more detailed information about what happens in the ports.

In August, the Oulu team conducted site visits to several ports in the Finnish proggramme region, along the Bothnian Bay, the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea. The team met port operators and local fishermen on these visits. The port facilities were visited and the discussion flowed from one topic to another, from challenges of commercial fishing to waste management issues of the port. The team also shared with the port operators and fishermen the news about the separate collection of EOL fishing gear due to start in early 2025, which raised a lot of questions. Many issues that had not been covered by the online survey were answered on the site in these conversations with the local stakeholders of the project. In return they got up to date information about the upcoming changes.

It might have been a quiet newsday, since the visit to the small Lumijoki fishing port and marina caught the attention of the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) and the Oulu Team ended up in their news broadcasts both in radio and also in TV. YLE put together also a newspiece to their website, which includes a video (in Finnish though). You can find the story here. Couple other media outlets took up the story, which resulted in media coverage in radio, in online and in printed media.

Blue Circular Nets


Workshop Highlights Collaborative Efforts to Tackle Marine Litter from Fishing Gear

Mitigating marine litter, particularly from end-of-life (EOL) fishing gear, were on agenda in a workshop co-hosted by the European Commission and OSPAR took place in Brussels in end of March