Fishing for Litter in Spain forms part of a larger project called Bluenet which started in 2019. The project aims to reduce the amount of marine litter from sea-based sources and from the SE Bay of Biscay by 20-40 % by the end of 2020. The fishing fleet involved in the project is varied and includes purse seiners, bottom otter trawlers, pair trawlers, gillnetters and artisanal fishers.
As with all Fishing for Litter projects, the fishermen who participate do so voluntarily without remuneration. The project provides the equipment to store the litter onboard and the infrastructure to process the waste.
The project focuses strongly on recycling of the waste. Not only smaller marine litter but also ‘Abandoned, Lost or Discarded Fishing Gear’ (ALDFG) is recycled. The Recovered nets from participating Basque fishing ports were cleaned, washed, cut, crushed, separated by density, dried, and extruded before pelletising. 53 kg of Nylon and 120 kg Polyolefins monofilaments were produced. These filaments were converted into mussel long-line ropes. This is the circular economy in practice!
The Bluenet project, as such, will finish in June 2021. The goal is for Fishing for Litter to continue once the project has wound down but it remains to be seen how this will be accomplished.