AQUA-LIT is a project funded under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund that responds to the need of increasing capacity building and networking for sustainable use of the sea basins in the EU. More specifically, AQUA-LIT was born out of a desire for action on two major factors: the staggering rapid increase of marine litter in the Ocean, and the boost of the aquaculture sector both at an EU level and worldwide. Put simply, with an expansion of the aquaculture sector we don’t want an increase on the marine debris.
Thus, AQUA-LIT aims at providing the aquaculture sector with a sustainable toolbox of innovative ideas and methodologies to address the 3 main components to tackle marine littering: prevention & reduction, monitoring & quantification, and removal & recycling. To fulfil this mission, we will be working face-to-face with aquaculture farmers in three regional Learning Labs: in the Mediterranean basin, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea regions. In parallel, we will identify and cluster existing, upcoming and already implemented tools on marine littering, and we will further develop a platform and an app to provide the ’Tide against marine litter toolbox’.
Lastly, we will ‘scale up the tide’ through a 4-step process: (1) by developing the ‘policy for less litter’ set of recommendations; (2) by compiling the ‘funding a wave of solutions’, the available funding opportunities for the sector to tackle marine litter; (3) by creating a transferability plan for outermost regions which will scale-up the toolbox to other geographical sea basins; and (4) the ‘AQUA-LIT exploitation plan’, that will provide long-term sustainability of the toolbox after the project’s life. Through this, we expect to help all stakeholders from the aquaculture chain to increase the understanding, awareness and availability of solutions, so a potential transformation of the aquaculture sector towards a less polluting sector can become possible.