Bringing the Ocean to Society
9 Mar 2021
Goodbye from AQUA-LIT
AQUA-LIT Project has ended, here we offer a final recap of all the outcomes achieved

Two years have passed, and AQUA-LIT project is coming to an end. As sad as this could be, AQUA-LIT Team is very excited about all the great results achieved, summarised in this article.

AQUA-LIT has provided an overview of the available knowledge on marine debris originating from the aquaculture sector only (separated from fisheries) and a map of the aquaculture-related litter with the geographical position of aquaculture facilities in three European sea basins. From all the information gathered, a marine litter inventory was created, which identifies the types of litter items and materials that relate to aquaculture activities. Besides the online version where data can be accessed by type of litter, by sea basin, by country, or the full raw data, a downloadable version have been created, so stakeholders can print it and use it to categorize the litter they find.

Furthermore, a report ‘Available Tools and Measures’ has been developed which gives an overview of the global, regional, European and national action plans and documents that contain measures to reduce or avoid marine litter from the aquaculture sector specifically. In addition to measures, also the needs, research gaps, actions and strategies were included.

Through the creation of four learning labs, barriers for having good marine litter management were assessed with 12 different stakeholder groups from the entire aquaculture chain. This helped to co-develop with them solutions and innovative ideas to solve those barriers, which were divided into four types of measures: legislation, knowledge, support and responsibility.

The more than 400 solutions to tackle marine litter are what fed the first component of the main project’s outcome: the “Tide against marine litter TOOLBOX”. The toolbox, available online and as an app, also includes information on which ports have the facilities to receive waste, a database of funding opportunities to create a project on marine litter, as well as the marine litter inventory that provides an overview of the available knowledge on marine litter originating from the aquaculture sector, a set of policy recommendations for the EU and lastly, specific action plans for outermost regions.

Finally, a report on the ‘Potential Future Impacts’ that the sector could face by 2025 regarding marine litter was developed, hoping that it can be the trigger to create more actions to avoid marine littering.

A final recap video is available at https://bit.ly/3bkmEhc

EurOcean has been leading WP5 “Scaling up the tide” on developing policy recommendation for less litter, transferring outcomes to the Outermost regions (Azores and Canaries Islands) and building the legacy of the project. EurOcean had also a crucial role in the Dissemination and Outreach tasks, in supporting Learning Labs development and in the data collection through its database Knowledge Gate.