Management of Waste in Galicia

Vigo, Spain

Management of Waste from Fishing in Galicia:
The Project 3R FISH

The coastline of Galicia has 42 ports, most of them with large fishery activities (fishing, aquaculture and processing industries). It is therefore understandable that attention turned towards fisheries as the main source of waste. Plastics are the most abundant components in this garbage.
3R FISH was a project launched within the framework of the European programme LIFE+ coordinated by CETMAR, a Foundation promoted by the Galician Government (Department of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs and General Directorate of Research and Development) and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. It aims to contribute to improve the conditions for the sustainable development of marine resources, and in this context, the efficiency of the sectors of fishing, aquaculture, fish processing industry and all those activities directly or indirectly related to the use and exploitation of the sea and its resources.
3R FISH wants to improve the quality of marine waters and seabed through the correct use of the devices and equipment that are handling in the fishing sector, together with the proper solid waste management and recycling from those activities. It represents a key component in a strategy of fisheries and ports’ sustainable development, according to the European Union policy guidelines.
The main objective was to demonstrate the technical and economical feasibility of a code of good environmental practises.

The specific Objectives of the Project:
To develop an integrated management and recycling system for the main three types of solid waste from fishing and port activities: fishing nets (mostly manufactured from plastic material), packaging polystyrene (used for storage and handling of fishing) and lighting devices.
To promote and implement good practices on waste management, both on board and in ports areas: as principles from the Galician Consellería de Pesca (Fishing Regional government).
To establish innovative systems for management and recovery of the mentioned waste, from the beggining of its life cycle until the last treatment.
To promote practical cooperation among the key sector stakeholders in order to define a set of potential uses or market opportunities for recovered waste, both economically and environmentally sustainable.
To technically and economically evaluate the potential implementation of a management plan for port & fisheries waste in Galicia and Portugal ports (potentially applicable in some other European ports).

The following Actions have been implemented:
Sector Diagnosis: study about the waste generation in the Galician fishing ports and fleet. Also complementary, a technological diagnosis on management, recycling and modern waste treatments innovations took place.
Development of 3 pilot actions in Galician and Portuguese fishing ports (in Portugal just packaging polystyrene): setting of management plan, logistics, treatments and recycling technologies, reporting and monitoring, focused on the 3 target waste types: fishing nets, packaging polystyrene  and lighting devices.
Popularization, awareness and dissemination of good practices (GP) on waste management on fishing sector and port activities.
Technical and economic assessment of the performance of these recycling actions in the entire Galician and Portugal networking.
The model was based on the recovery and recycling of waste arising from fishing and port activity. It was developed experimentally in two phases and the results showed that it is possible to significantly reduce the environmental impact of fishing activities with an appropriate management system.
Once satisfied that the waste management system of the seabed is technically and economically feasible, the model is now effective in all the port network dependent on the Xunta de Galicia.