First characterisation of marine litter collected by the Basque fishing fleet

With the ending of the COVID-19 derived state of alarm, our Basque fishermen are back to sea! And the work doesn´t stop in BLUENET! The team has pulled together to achieve the next milestones of the project despite the initial challenges that have arisen from the global outbreak of this pandemic. Thanks to the joint efforts of the team and the Basque fishing sector, the first samples of fished marine litter were unloaded in AZTI’s facilities last week to define the type and source of the litter removed from the sea by characterizing them at lab.

These collections are been carried out in the framework of the international initiative Fishing for Litter promoted by KIMO. More than 30 kg and over 100 items have been sorted out during this first analysis.

Preliminary results showed that over 80% of all marine litter items are made of plastic. Strings and cords, food containers, and nets and pieces of nets are on the top of the litter items classification in terms of number of items.

We look forward next month’s marine litter characterization to improve the precision on the marine litter sources and typology.