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Clean Nordic Oceans Main Report – A Network to Reduce Marine Litter and Ghost Fishing

image of Clean Nordic Oceans Main Report – A Network to Reduce Marine Litter and Ghost Fishing

Clean Nordic Oceans was established as a network to exchange knowledge and experience of methods and measures that can reduce the risk of ghost fishing and marine litter, and increase proper disposal and recycling of commercial and recreational fishing gear. All Nordic countries have participated in the network. Through a dedicated website (www.cnogear.org), workshops, seminars, conferences, films and social media, this project has helped to establish contacts both inside and outside the Nordic region, which can help reduce the challenges of marine litter from fishing activities. Among the numerous important findings that have been made over the course of the project, the report points out that fishermen in all the Nordic countries lack sufficient awareness of how they can and should contribute to a cleaner ocean. The report proposes a number of possible measures. Some of the measures may be suitable for all countries, but in general, there is no “one size fits all” solution.

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Introduction

The introduction of plastic and plastic products into our global community has had many positive aspects, but it has also come with a lot of negatives. One of the major challenges with plastic is when it does not follow a proper life cycle, where it is not dealt with and processed the way plastic and plastic products should be. Our greatest challenge in terms of plastic is the combination of lost or discarded plastic products and the extremely long time it takes for plastic to decompose. The ocean is one place where there should be no lost or discarded plastic. However, plastic has been littering the ocean for many decades, but it has been less visible and has consequently received little attention. Now there is so much plastic in the ocean that we can see it almost everywhere. There are no clear figures on how much plastic is visible and how much litters the seabed, but many publications suggest that over 90 per cent of the plastic in the sea is not visible but on the seabed.

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