The University of Porto leads project to end wasteful fishing practices

  • Article



The Interdisciplinary Centre of Maritime and Environmental Investigation of the University of Porto (CIIMAR-UP) is leading a project to further the reduction of the pollution of the marine environment, which originates from the fishing sector: the NetTag.

The main aim of the NetTag project is to work directly with fisherman in the northwest region of Portugal and Galicia, for a period of two years, in order to drastically reduce the garbage patch, mostly made of fishing gear.

The so-called ghost nets are commercial fishing nets that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea. And the consequences are disastrous as millions of marine animals, including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and even birds are trapped and killed every year.

"Fishermen will organize awareness campaigns targeted at other fishermen to spread best inboard practices regarding trash, either produced or captured "as a secondary line", in order to increase the project's effectiveness", refers Sandra Ramos, researcher at CIIMAR and Project Coordinator.

The project is led by CIIMAR and relies on a multidisciplinary team of researchers, namely the Natural Sciences and Robotic Engineering of INESC TEC and the University of NewCastle, the Social Sciences of the University of Aveiro and the University of Santiago, the Portuguese and Spanish fishermen's associations, the APMSHM (Associação Pró Maior Segurança dos Homens no Mar) and ARVI (Associação de armadores de pesca do Porto de Vigo), respectively, and also an international fishing nets company, the Euronete.

The NetTag is financed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).