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What's the best way to get rid of the 'Ghost Nets' haunting our seas?

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By Aurora Velez
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What's the best way to get rid of the 'Ghost Nets' haunting our seas?
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Adrinet is an EU programme educating about 'Ghost Nets' and helping to remove them from the Mediterranean seabed. It is coordinated by Italy, with Albania and Montenegro as participating members. The 1.07 million euro project is funded mainly by the EU Cohesion Policy, with the three participants paying 15% of the global budget. It is an excellent example of cooperation for the preservation of the marine ecosystem in the Adriatic Sea.

Since the beginning of the project, each participating country has carried out one "anti-ghost fishing net" action. To do so, they have identified the area where fishing nets lie on the seabed, they have assessed whether they should and can be removed slowly as to not further damage the seabed, and they have monitored these actions.

Elisabetta Bonerba is a project leader at the Adrinet programme. She gave us more insight into micro and macro plastic pollution in the sea.

What should be done about 'Ghost Nets'?

The problem of dispersed nets must be dealt with quickly, at the moment the fishing net has been lost. The fishing net must be recovered immediately because otherwise, if it is left for years, then part of the fauna and the marine ecosystem belonging to that area grows around the net. Removing these fishing nets can become a problem because obviously a new balance has been created and we will destroy that again.

What can we do?

What needs to be done, like for all pollution, is preventative action. We need to work on educating people, in this case fishermen and operators, because fishing nets represent dispersed plastic, just like plastic bags and bottles, but unlike other plastic items, they must be removed from the seabed when they are first lost.