The count of the waste generated by fishing and other activities in the oceans would be merciless, but it is the sign of the times, so scientists from Galicia, Portugal and the United Kingdom are immersed in a European project that aims to evaluate, and combat, the marine garbage.
In Spain there are more than 9,000 fishing boats and over 230,000 recreational that generate oily waste, other derivatives of the techniques and methods used to capture the different species, and then there are those from the food itself, so that it will be pursued decrease the impact of them on the ecosystem to be treated.
The group responsible for this task is coordinated by the researcher Cristina Ribeiro, of the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Research and Environment of Portugal, and the joint work will consist of an ecological and socio-economic analysis of the "footprint" left by all these wastes and, Therefore, in the achievement of an adequate way to manage this problem.
The name itself gives an account of the feat to be conquered, – "NetTag-Tagging fishing gears and enhancing on board best practices to promote waste free fisheries" -, since it refers to the gear used and the necessary measures to promote the accomplishment of this work, the one of the fishing, without hardly waste.
That is, with the minimum necessary, not in vain, one of the purposes of this team, as it is clear from its report of intentions, is the design of innovative methods to detect, recover and reduce the number of arts to use in the performance of this professional task.
NetTag will analyze for this, as its experts have explained to the press, the Galician and Portuguese coasts of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the mission of fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (2030), with the Global Partnership on Marine Litter and the Honolulu Strategy, with the Framework Directive of the European Marine Strategy (MSFD) and with the circular economy initiative of the European Union.
The University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) has direct involvement, as it leads the socio-economic work, led by professors Sebastián Villasante and Manel Antelo and researchers Pablo Pita Orduna and Joao Garcia-Rodrigues.
The universities of Aveiro (Portugal) and Newscastle, the Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CRAS) of the Portuguese country, the Royal Lankhorst Euronete Group and the Shipowners Cooperative of Vigo (Arvi) are also participating.
The budget they have is 493,063 euros and is financed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises of the European Commission.
The need to completely stop the massive entry of these debris into the sea surface, a setback that, for example, the disturbing noise pollution caused by the movement of ships, affects the food chain and leads to pollution, is the mainstay of investigations like the present one.
The extraction of fossil fuels, transport (including cruises) and fishing release amounts of toxic substances and, once in that environment, the marine pollutants accumulate in the food chain and pose serious threats.
The academic institution of Compostela has also taken a step further, within the framework of another program, the "Sicore", which leads and has the financial backing of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment, and the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
In this case, recreational fishing, which is practiced in Europe by ten million fans with an expenditure for its development of six million euros a year, is examined; in Spanish territory, 300,000 and with an expenditure of 217 million.
In any case, there is no systematic collection of information on this modality in the chapters of effects, participation, effort, captures and social profile, so it is intended to respond to this broad demand.
The Clean Landscape Association, a national organization and non-profit, estimates that of the amount of waste in general, only 20% reaches the beaches, while 15% remains in the water column and the rest it is deposited in the marine bottoms or they are ingested by the fauna, a condemnation for the oceans, but also, in the end, for the human beings.