ARVI intends to reduce the marine debris generated by the fishing sector, such as the so-called 'ghost nets.'
Acoustic locators and autonomous robots to reduce marine waste generated by fishing sector
Thursday, April 04, 2019, 02:20 (GMT + 9)
The Fishing Shipowners' Cooperative of Vigo (ARVI) is participating in a European project whose main objectives are to reduce the marine debris generated by the fishing sector, recover the so-called 'ghost nets,' and train fishers to properly manage the waste generated on board.
The first goal of this project, called NetTag, is to reduce the loss of fishing nets and other fishing gear, using acoustic locators in the nets themselves - which will be designed by the University of Newcastle within the framework of the project itself - and developing autonomous vehicles so that its recovery is viable.
The project, which will be developed during the next two years, also contemplates analyzing the environmental impact of fishing nets, for which its repercussion in different areas of the Galician and Portuguese coast will be evaluated, through controlled experiences in the laboratory.
Likewise, NetTag contemplates a socioeconomic study carried out by the University of Santiago de Compostela and the University of Aveiro, to evaluate the cost-benefit of the implementation of these devices.
The second goal of the project is to promote good practices on board in what refers to the management of the waste produced and/or captured during the fishing activity. For this, a direct task with the crew of fishing vessels in northwestern Portugal and Galicia will be addressed, with an integrated and innovative approach.
The Kickoff meeting of the NetTag project took place at CIIMAR
The project is led by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research of Portugal (CIIMAR), and in addition to ARVI, Portuguese fishermen also participate through the Association for the Improved Safety of Men at Sea (APMSHM). Both organizations will develop joint activities with the aim of emphasizing the management of waste on board ships.
This awareness-raising task will finish with two major events to be held next year: one including waste collection in fishing gear entitled 'Clean Ocean Day', which will provide an idea of the type and amount of marine waste generated during the fishing activity, and another demonstration in which the aforementioned acoustic locators and robots will be tested with the aim of recovering materials lost in the sea.
The NetTag project is funded by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises (EASMEs), through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and has a multidisciplinary and international team of researchers from various fields, which unite the natural sciences, through the participation of CIIMAR; robotics engineering with INESC TEC and the University of Newcastle; social sciences with the University of Aveiro and the University of Santiago de Compostela, as well as with the direct participation of the fishing sector represented by the APMSHM of Portugal, ARVI and the international company of fishing nets Euronete.