The first AQUA-LIT Learning Lab (LL) took place on 9th of October during the Aquaculture Conference in Berlin.
The LL was focus on the Baltic Sea basin, and had the following objectives:
- Engage different types of stakeholders such as aquaculture farmers, manufacturers, designers, academics, processing companies or administration in preventing, reducing, monitoring, quantifying, removing and recycling marine litter from aquaculture operations;
- Facilitate the adoption of successful existing solutions through sharing knowledge and building capacity;
- Explore the potential of innovative solutions to marine litter reduction, removal and recycling;
After a first introductory round about the status of aquaculture in the region, triggering questions were discussed with the quite divergent participants, covering all stages of the life cycle of aquaculture gear.
Participants discussed effective prevention and reduction measures of non-organic waste, monitoring and quantifying approaches as well as innovative ways of removing and recycling these kinds of equipment.
The solutions proposed ranged from fostering better communication between society, policy and the aquaculture sector to create an atmosphere of trust and enabling soft-skill approaches like code of conducts in parallel to strict control and regulation systems. The need to have an aquaculture specific non-biological waste disposal and material recycling systems in place (i.e. standards, solutions and procedures) was highlighted, coupling together different small-scale industries that use the same type of materials (e.g. aquaculture combined with fishing or agriculture) to optimise the result.
Results from brainstorming and discussions around AQUA-LIT triggering questions
Many others ideas and solutions were proposed and discussed during lively brainstorming, and all of these will feed the AQUA-LIT toolbox coming next year 2020 to foster implementation of promising cross-cutting measures.
The next LL will be focus on the North Sea region and will be held in Ostend (Belgium) on 26th of November 2019.