A three-year research project into biodegradable fishing gear could provide a solution to the ghost netting problem.
According to senior researcher Eduardo Grimaldo at SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture, the development of a self-soluble yarn could present a solution to one of the problems facing Norwegian fisheries, with biodegradable nets that could be broken down by algae and bacteria.
The technology for this is already available with a twine developed by South Korean company Samsung Fine Chemicals as a commercial product and Eduardo Grimaldo is leading a research project to adapt this material to Norwegian conditions.
Full-scale trials have already taken place off the island of Senja in Norway and the experimental netting has been shown to fish as effectively as conventional gear.
The problems tend to occur with deep water fishing for halibut and monkfish where the depth of water and strong currents can make recovering lost gear difficult. According to researchers, netting with a maximum working lifetime of six months could be applicable for the two-month halibut season, while for cod netting with a one-year life would be appropriate.