Ghost nets, that are broken or accidentally lost fishing gear, continue to uncontrollably fish marine life - fish and mammals - while drifting in the water or getting snagged on the seabed or wrecks. They pose a significant threat to sustainable fisheries in the Baltic, as about 800 tons of lost fishing gears lying on the seabed still has from 6 to 20% of the original fishing capacity and organisms trapped in them have no chance of survival.
During the meeting, Piotr Prędki and Marta Kalinowska from WWF Poland presented targets of this year's project of cleaning the Baltic seabed. From April to August 2015, the collection of ghost nets continues in cooperation with the Polish Fishermen Society from Kołobrzeg, funded by European Fisheries Fund. 70 fishing vessels are planned for use in this initiative, which makes this project the biggest ghost net retrieval project in the world. The overall aim is to remove up to 350 tons of ghost nets and either utilize or recycle them.
The debate took place with the participation of representatives of all parties to the project: fishermen, Kołobrzeg Fish Producers Organization, WWF Poland, the Polish National Water Management Authority, Polish Department of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and others participants interested in implementing the project in their own country.
I am proud to co-organize this seminar. This incredible grassroots initiative brought together fishermen and environmentalists for the noble purpose: to protect the marine ecosystem in our Baltic Sea. I sincerely hope that this project will succeed and spread beyond Poland for the benefit of European citizens.
For more information about the project: sieciwidma.wwf.pl