The Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE) and the ECNC Group together with MEDASSET (Mediterranean Association to Save the Sea Turtles), Aquafil and Nofir held an workshop at the European Maritime Day 2015 entitled "Innovative business models for marine litter in Europe".
The growing threat of marine litter and derelict fishing gear may have been at the core of the presentations and discussions but the emphasis was on the importance of solutions that are integrated in business models involving cross-sectoral collaboration and resulting in prevention and minimisation of marine litter in European seas. The DeFishGear project and the Healthy Seas initiative were showcased by the panellists. The DeFishGear project is carrying out fishing-for-litter activities, setting up derelict fishing gear management schemes in the Adriatic Sea and collecting in the process large amounts of litter and derelict fishing gear. Healthy Seas provides a good example for circular economy. Discarded fishing nets are used to produce top-quality nylon yarn for textile products. On the occasion of the EU Maritime Day and the workshop, MEDASSET and Healthy Seas launched their collaboration in Greece. MIO-ECSDE also presented some first results of a UNEP/MAP suppo rted Mediterranean-wide survey targeting mostly fishermen which explores various elements linked to marine litter and derelict fishing gear in the marine environment.
The workshop provided the possibility for panellists and audience alike to hone into the many aspects of such innovative business models, including environmental, technical, investment-related, stakeholder involvement, etc.