DeFishGear Project (Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region)

DeFishGear – Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region

With 16 partner organisations from seven Adriatic Sea countries and coordinated by the lead partner from Slovenia (National Institute of Chemistry), we successfully applied for the international project called Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region (DEFISHGEAR) at the IPA ADRIATIC tendering programme. The Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia has been actively engaged in addressing the issue of marine litter since the adoption of the Marine Directive in 2008. The initiative for organising a project at the level of the Adriatic came from the Institute, which, after finding partner organisations in the Adriatic region and drafting the project’s content, beat its competition and obtained funding for the DEFISHGEAR project.




Full project title: Derelict Fishing Gear Management System in the Adriatic Region

Project title in Slovenian: Sistem ravnanja z odpadno ribiško opremo v Jadranski regiji

Project acronym: DEFISHGEAR

Project code: 1str°/ 00010

Programme: IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2007–2013

The aim of the DEFISHGEAR project is to design a regionally-coordinated strategy for reducing marine litter in the Adriatic Sea with the participation of key stakeholders (fishing industry, researchers, politicians, NGOs and the recycling industry). One of the major project deliverables will be the first regionally-coordinated assessment of amounts, types and sources of marine litter, including micro-plastics. The analysis will help the countries in the region identify the main sources of litter and significantly contribute to improved knowledge on marine litter in the region.

The focus of the DEFISHGEAR project is on collaboration with the fishing sector. Fishermen are an important link in the chain of marine environment protection, and their current activities could significantly contribute to reducing marine litter.

Within the project, we will focus on these three areas:

  • marine litter and its economic impact on the coastal communities;
  • control and reduction of the amount of micro-plastics in the sea and its effects on marine life;
  • collection and recycling of abandoned fishing gear (nets) and randomly trapped litter in fishing.

We hope to be able to cooperate with the only company in the world that currently processes waste fishing gear – Julon d.d., a member of Aquafil Group. The Italian company launched the innovative Econyl project in Slovenia. Instead of the primary raw material used in making polymer materials (Nylon 6), the company uses a secondary material consisting of waste products made from this polymer, which also include waste fishing nets. The company successfully launched its activities as part of the Healthy Seas project.

DEFISHGEAR will contribute to the development of a system that will facilitate proper monitoring and management of data in the indicated countries, which at present is severely lacking and performed only at the level of individual countries in the region. It is going to be developed in collaboration with every country in the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia), strengthening the exchange of ideas, experience, techniques and knowledge and boosting the overall awareness and understanding of the issue of marine litter.

Since the project’s primary aims include raising awareness of the issue of marine litter among the various target groups, the project group is going to prepare a number of publications, videos and other media activities. A National Info Day will be organised in each of the participating countries along with various volunteer campaigns such as coastal clean-ups, workshops and summer schools.


Duration of the project:



Related content:

  1. DeFishGear
  2. Adriatic Cross-Border Programme
  3. European Commission
  4. Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy
  5. Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning



About the Project

Value of the Project


Dr Manca Kovač Viršek
00 386 1 47 75 301

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