Project GHOST

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The problem

Data on the amount and impacts of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) are lacking in the north Adriatic Sea. Project GHOST was established to promote concrete measures to reduce the impacts of ALDFG and to improve the biodiversity of rocky habitats in the coastal areas of the north Adriatic Sea.

Project GHOST was established to promote concrete measures to reduce the impacts of ALDFG and to improve the biodiversity of rocky habitats in the coastal areas of the north Adriatic Sea.

The solution

Project GHOST is co-funded under the LIFE + Biodiversity Instrument of the European Union and is a partnership between National Research Council – Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR), University of Architecture of Venice (IUAV) and Laguna Project s.n.c. Project GHOST's objectives include:

  • Assess the impact of ALDFG on biodiversity and promote concrete meaures and best practices to preserve and improve the ecological status of the rocky habitats (commonly known as Tegnùe) in the north Adriatic Sea.

  • Remove ALDFG and identify appropriate procedures for its recycling/re-use.

  • Estimate the economic value of the ecosystem benefits resulting from ALDFG removal/reduction.

  • Produce an effective long term strategy for ALDFG management in coastal areas (from prevention, through mitigation and recycling).

The approximate costs for ALDFG mapping, removal and disposal can be found here.

The outcomes

The project has developed 14 key actions which are aimed at delivering the following results:

  • An enhancement of local biodiversity by restoring natural habitat functions after removing all the ALDGF detected in selected areas.

  • A revised and updated database of published scientific and technical papers and non-published technical reports dealing with the biodiversity of the rocky habitats in Veneto coastal area.

  • A first assessment of the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by the Tegnùe habitat aimed at identifying and quantifying the main impacts of ALDFG removal.

  • A technical protocol focused on the management of ALDFG in coastal areas.

  • A regulation proposal as a first step towards the adoption of a specific ALDFG legislative tool at the regional level.

  • Awareness raising among stakeholders about ALDFG impacts on the marine environment.

  • To exchange information and approaches with other international likeminded projects.

Two reports have recently been published. The first, 'First data on ghost nets along the Venetian coast', consists of an overview of the results obtained through the acoustic and photographic mapping of ALDFG in the rocky outcrop area off the Venetian coast. The second, 'High resolution maps of the examined impacted areas', provides a map of each ALDFG-impacted rocky outcrop explored.

The lessons

As with many other regional ALDFG projects around the world, the success of Project GHOST is highly dependent on the expertise and dedication of the small project team, which is strongly committed to working in close collaboration with the diverse array of stakeholders in the northern Adriatic. The project places great emphasis on its stakeholder consultation processes and on the strength of its partnerships with many other regional and international organisations. Another important focus is on communications, particularly the communication of project results through a wide range of media channels.

Key contacts 

Luisa Da Ros

Project coordinator

luisa.daros@ismar.cnr.it

http://www.life-ghost.eu/index.php/en/

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