Promoting a circular economy in fishing gear

Promoting a circular economy in fishing gear

Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) is a problem that is increasingly of concern due to its numerous negative impacts. The INdIGO project (INnovative fIshing Gear for Ocean) aims to develop the first fishing gear with a controlled lifespan that is biodegradable in the marine environment. It also intends to define a strategy to improve the recycling of fishing gear at the end of its life and to promote the circular economy.

The alternative solutions proposed by INdIGO are both preventive and curative in order to achieve a good ecological status in the France-Channel-England (FCE) area by reducing plastic pollution generated by the fishing and aquaculture industries.

INdIGO is a 45-month project funded by the Interreg VA France (Channel) England programme, a European Union programme that encourages economic development between the south of the UK and the north of France.

The project has a budget of €4.3m, €2.9m coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Interreg France Channel England Programme. The project is led by the Université de Bretagne Sud in Brittany and it brings together 10 French and English partners: University of Southern Brittany (project coordinator), NaturePlast, Smel, Filt, University of Portsmouth, Cefas, University of Plymouth, IRMA, IFREMER and Marine South East.

Cefas staff involved in the project include Adil Bakir (Principal Investigator), Elena Mengo, Peter Randall and Jacky Read (Project Manager). Cefas scientists are collaborating with different partners across Work Packages including:

  • Work Package 1: Situational analysis of pollution generated by the use of plastics in the fishing and aquaculture industry.
  • Work Package 3: Study of marine ageing and environmental impact of the new material.
  • Work Package 4: Psycho-ergonomic approach.

Data collection for Work Package 1 on Situational analysis is driven by Fisheries Observers from the Cefas Applied Fisheries Science & Technology group.