Man pulling out a ghost net from the ocean


The Re:Fish project addresses the problem of plastic pollution and ghost fishing in the Central Baltic Sea, starting with Sweden, Finland and Estonia as pilot areas. Lost fishing gear, including fishing accessories, are present in all seas, lakes and streams where recreational fishing is carried out. Gillnets cause unnecessary suffering to fish, birds, and marine mammals. Additionally, these nets contribute to pollution of both plastic and hazardous substances. It is also a common problem that nets are left outdoors where they fragment and spread microplastics in the environment.

Expected results

The project will do retrieval operations, clean ups, collection of end-of-life gear, acquisition of knowledge by using citizen science, conduct tests with deposit systems and carry out awareness raising campaigns about the problems. Re:Fish will not only remove plastic of the central Baltic Sea for improved environmental health, it will activate relevant actors (recreational fishers, producers and retailers, NGOs, Universities, and authorities) to implement preventive actions and better monitoring of lost recreational fishing gear in the future.

Duration 01.03.2023 - 28.02.2026

Total budget

Programme priority

Improved environment and resource use

Programme objective

PO4 - Improved coastal and marine environment

Lead partner

Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation

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