Defining status quo for the material flow of fishing gear on a national and regional level

This report is a deliverable for the Dsolve Centre for Research-based Innovation (CRI), Work Area 5 Circularity of bio-based, biodegradable, and non-degradable plastics. More specifically, this report documents Tasks 5.1.1 and 5.3.2.
The existing mass flow research concerning the fate of plastics in fishing gear used in the Norwegian commercial fishing and aquaculture industry is summarised in this report. Loss of fishing gear and aquaculture equipment can lead to ghost fishing and emission of microplastics affecting life below water.

Plastic flows in commercial fishing gear and aquaculture can be categorized in four groups: a) new fishing gear, b) repaired materials, c) collected gear delivered to waste treatment, and d) lost equipmentseparated into loss from wear and tear, documented loss, and undocumented loss. Figure 1 gives an overview of the quantified and unquantified flows of plastics in the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry.