Marine litter and pollution – Smart and low environmental impact fishing gears | Deadline 27 september 2022

Deadline: 27 September, 2022
Budget: €10.000.000 EURO
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco Portugal, Spain, Tunisia



Proposals under this topic are expected to identify a set of suitable innovative smart and sustainable solutions to be tested, validated and demonstrated in real conditions, to address negative impacts of fishing gears on marine life and habitats and promote long-term sustainability in our ocean and seas.

Interdisciplinary approaches and close cooperation between researchers, fishing industry, fisheries managers and other stakeholders will be fundamental to the development, introduction and acceptance of innovative, smart and sustainable fishing technologies.

Proposals are expected to address one of the following issues:

  • Circular aspects: design cost-effective and sustainable fishing gears applying a life-cycle approach, using environmentally-friendly materials (e.g. recycled, recyclable, biodegradable, durable, upgradable) and including recycling and reusing opportunities of end-of-life gears and recovered ghost gears;
  • Environmental impacts: reducing harmful impacts of fishing gears on marine fauna, habitats and seabed: e.g. minimizing pollution including from hazardous chemicals and microplastics; reducing negative effects on sensitive and endangered species by reducing bycatches and ghost fishing and through improving mapping, tracking and recovery of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gears. All proposals should also take into account selectivity requirements of the fishing gears. In addition, all proposals should address emission reduction objectives, including energy efficiency and resources consumption in gear manufacturing process and in fishing operations.

Each project will test in real conditions at least three sustainable, cost-effective and innovative solutions developed under EU, national, regional programmes or privately funded, for sustainable and low-impact fishing gears (e.g.: Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020; LIFE, the EU Maritime, Fishery and Aquaculture Fund – EMFAF and its predecessor) as well as outcomes of EU funded projects (e.g.: NetTag[1]; Oceanets[2], Bluenet[3], marGnet[4], Biogeras[5]). These three solutions will either address environmental impacts of fishing gears or the circular aspects of fishing gears and use of sustainable materials.

Awareness raising actions should be included to provide users of fishing gear containing plastic proper information about, for example, the availability of re-usable alternatives and re-use systems, appropriate waste management options available and best practices, as well as about the plastic content in fishing gear.

For more information visit the EC funding and tender opportunities site