Promoter: Esposende Municipality

  • Rio Neiva – Environmental Defense Association
  • University of Minho

  • EAmb – Esposende Ambiente, EM – Sole Proprietorship

EEA Grants: 169.481,58€

Total Amount: 249.237,61€


The present proposal aims at implementing a pilot study in the Marine Protected Area of the Northern Littoral Marine Park, were degradable gillnets and trammel nets will be provided to the fishing community in an unprecedented pilot test. The effect of this initiative on the reduction of ghost fishing and of synthetic plastic materials in the ocean will be assessed.

Alongside, a thorough study and update of the state of knowledge will be conducted in order to determine the physical properties to be measured, the procedures to be adopted in the characterization of the degradation of biodegradable monofilaments, to promote the capacity building for producing fishing gear from selected biodegradable monofilaments, and to compare the fishing performance of nets made of conventional nylon and of the biodegradable material.

Subsequently the sustainability of using biodegradable materials versus conventional synthetic gear will be assessed considering economic (costs and local economy), environmental (ecosystems health and biodiversity) and social (traditions and local practices) factors. Another key challenge in this project is to identify litter sources and evaluate the amount and nature present on beaches.

This information is crucial to take action against the sources of marine litter and help to design future management measures to tackle this challenge, based on systematic and consistent monitoring to provide decision makers with the evidence needed to take action. The final challenge is the promotion of awareness in the community.

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