From next week onwards, the more than 250 fishing boats based at the port of Ancona in Italy will start to collect their waste fishing nets for Healthy Seas. This is one of the results of the successful meeting that took place in Ancona last Wednesday 23 July. Following the agreements made earlier this month, a collection point for these fishing nets has been set up in Ancona harbour as well.

Healthy Seas and its partner DeFishGear started their operational cooperation aiming to collect and reuse abandoned or discarded fishing nets in the Adriatic Sea this summer. The Port of Ancona established the first net collection point; this was done with the involvement of fishermen, divers, the local government and Ancona port authority, and researchers.

In addition, diving activities with local divers are being planned around Ancona, both on shipwrecks and reefs nearby. The fishermen are willing to provide their boats and so, for the first time in the Healthy Seas initiative, they will be directly involved in ghost fishing net retrieval.

Ancona is one of the most important ports of the Adriatic, for both fisheries and passenger traffic. The presence of more than 250 fishing boats larger than the national average, operating with bottom and pelagic trawl systems, makes this an ideal harbour for testing recovery actions of both derelict fishing gear and waste collected at sea during normal fishing activities.

The first shipment of fishing nets collected in Ancona to the regeneration plant in Slovenia is foreseen in September. Similar activities are being explored in other Italian ports along the Adriatic coast.

Photo: Fishing boats port of Ancona