Volume 6 • December 2014
SDVO hosts conference in Ostend
Page 1: - SDVO hosts conference in
Page 2: - Europêche Showcases
Sustainable Seafood
- Launching of the Global Ghost
Gear Initiative
- Plastix Denmark awarded EcoInnovation support for
RETRAWL2 project
Page 3: - WFO Turkey straight to
- Black Sea Days
- WFO Helps HELCOM Find
Page 4: - Let’s Do It Belgium!
- WFO Round the World
Page 5: - European Maritime Day 2015
- WFO participates in networking
event on river waste
- WFO Presents Eco-Modus
- Jean Saint-Aubin’s Passing
Page 6: - Innovative Collaboration by
Belgian and French maritime
and textile industries
- WFO Welcomes its New
Communication Executive
On November 19th,
Belgium’s foundation
for Sustainable Fishery
(Stichting voor
SDVO), organized a
conference on the
circular economy in
Photo: MEP Alain Cadec, WFO Champion
Ostend and in
collaboration with
WFO. At the conference, Mr. Alain Cadec was officially announced as WFO’s
new Champion. Alain Cadec is a French Member of the European Parliament
(MEP) and Chair of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, which is
very much concerned and involved in all sustainability aspects of fishing in
On the panel, Alain Cadec stated: “This WFO foundation activity needs to be
promoted all over Europe and even all over the world. Pollution has already
reached levels which are no longer acceptable for our future generations. To
preserve the quality of our food
chain, it all starts with education
and awareness.” WFO is proud
to have an MEP who is
dedicated to WFO’s cause and
who has been devoted to
maritime issues his entire
political career.
Mr. Bart Tommelein, Secretary
of State for Social Fraud, Privacy
and the North Sea, was also part
Photo: Mr. Bart Tommelein, Secretary of State for of
Social Fraud, Privacy and the North Sea
consumption of locally-caught
fish and advocates efforts and contributions for a sustainable North Sea.
SDVO encourages the Belgian fleet to use alternative fishing techniques in
order to reduce fuel consumption and lessen its impact on the environment
and has launched many pilot projects in an effort to achieve this.
For more information on SDVO, visit
Europêche Showcases Sustainable Seafood
On November 5th, WFO’s new Champion Alain Cadec hosted a
“Seafood Showcase” event in the European Parliament, organized
by Europeche, the Association of National Organisations of
Fishing Enterprises in the European Union. WFO attended the
event that attracted many guests who were eager to taste a
variety of sustainably caught fish. Important issues were
addressed to a highly mixed crowd, such as the need to increase
awareness on sustainability and to establish cross-industry
Europeche is a European organisation of ship owners, fishermen
and employers. Europeche participates in the elaboration and
implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and defends the
interests of the fishing enterprises. WFO and Europeche agree it is
time to strengthen their cooperation and will be looking into
collaborating on projects like the roll-out of the WFO Fishing for
Litter schemes throughout Europe. This approach has been
warmly welcomed by the President of Europeche, Javier Garat,
and by Mr. Alain Cadec, WFO Champion.
Photo: WFO’s Marguerite Korenblit and Bernard Merkx
discussing marine litter at the European Parliament
Launching of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative
On the 13th and 14th of November, participants from all over the world
gathered for the inauguration of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in
Ljubljana, Slovenia. World Animal Protection, which is supported by UN
Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter, organized the round table meeting that brought together UN agencies, industry leaders and non-governmental organizations to address the growing
issue of ghost gear in oceans. Environmental thought leaders and governmental organizations took part in working group sessions and break-out
groups to exchange ideas and information and to share inspiring success
stories of clean-up initiatives.
Photo: Bernard Merkx and Francis Chopin, the
Secretary of the Food and Agriculture Organization
Bernard Merkx joined on behalf of WFO, where he informed other participants of WFO’s actions such as ghost net retrieval with the help of Ecodivers as part of the Healthy Seas project as well as Plastix Denmark’s
fishing gear recycling activities.
GGGI aims to unite worldwide expertise in order to find sustainable solutions for cleaner and safer oceans. WFO proposed to host a follow-up event in Brussels in November 2015, which would bring together the fishing industry and politicians. Further details are to come in the following months.
Plastix Denmark awarded Eco-Innovation support for RETRAWL2 project
The entire WFO team congratulates Plastix, one of our most recent members, to have been chosen by the European Commission to be a part of its Eco-Innovation project. Plastix, along with its partners from Norway, Sweden, Netherland and Spain, will
carry-out RETRAWL2, a project that transforms used maritime waste into high quality plastic and steel commodities by using
innovative recycling technology. After an intense period of preparation, Plastix was awarded for its remarkable achievement
and the project is expected to run for 24 months. Using fishing nets and trawls, Plastix is putting plastic back in the loop of a
circular economy. The European Commission DG Environment is building on the potential that eco-innovation has for creating
new opportunities and growth in Europe. Its Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) was launched in December 2011 and focuses
on developing eco-innovation actions across the EU, from recycling materials to wastewater treatment and from green business to environmental labelling.
For more information, visit
WFO Turkey straight to Istanbul Bosphorus
In August, Mr. Yavuz Eroglu, President of WFO Turkey, Middle
East and Africa, - which is known as Mutlu Baliklar in Turkey or
“Happy Fishes” - organized another well attended event with the
cooperation of PAGEV, the Turkish Plastics Industry Foundation,
which is comprised of over 500 members. The event was held in
Besiktas, a municipality of Istanbul located on the European
shore of the Bosphorus, the strait that forms part of the
boundary between Europe and Asia.
There, the efficiency of the WFO trawls in collecting floating
debris was demonstrated. The Mayor of Besiktas, Av. Murat
Hazinedar, confirmed his interest in WFO and offered to work
together to find solutions for the litter problem.
WFO also presented the Ecover Ocean Bottle, the first ever
Photo: WFO trawl demonstration in Besiktas, Turkey
bottle made entirely of recycled HDPE, including plastic waste
fished out of the ocean. WFO also called upon the authorities and the industry to work together towards a more circular
Watch the video here:
Black Sea Days
Mr. Yavuz Eroglu, WFO President of Turkey, Middle East
and Africa, was specially invited to participate in an
event organized by the Commission for the Protection of
the Black Sea Against Pollution (Black Sea Commission)
where he was able to present WFO Turkey. The event
was planned around the Celebration of the Black Sea
Day. Yavuz Eroglu called upon his international audience
for an increase in joint efforts in dealing with marine
litter issues in the Black Sea region.
The Black Sea is bordered by six countries, including EU
Member States Bulgaria and Romania. The EU is
Photo: Mr. Yavuz Eroglu presents WFO Turkey
committed to maritime issues in the region and has
obtained observer status for the Black Sea Commission.
It also launched an initiative for regional cooperation with and between countries surrounding the Black Sea. WFO hopes
to continue its efforts in these countries in 2015.
For more information go to
WFO Helps HELCOM Find Solutions
During HELCOM’s Ministerial Meeting in 2013, it was agreed to tackle the
issue of marine litter by first conducting two regional workshops in both
May and October 2014. Following the October meeting, a version of the
Action Plan for national consultation by Contracting Parties would be
WFO was invited to participate at the Workshop on Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter, organized by HELCOM, the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission), in Stralsund, Germany. WFO CoFounder Bernard Merkx actively took part in the meetings and break-out sessions along with other international representation. WFO’s potential solutions were put forward for pragmatic ways of dealing with the issue of marine litter. Examples of products made from 100% recyclates were shown to highlight the fact that helpful technology is already
available. The final Action Plan is expected to be adopted in early 2015.
Let’s Do It Belgium!
Discussions between WFO and Let’s Do It Belgium have been
increasing since the initial meeting between both organisations
in Oslo, Norway in early 2014. WFO was even invited to give a
presentation on deposit schemes at an event organized by Let’s
Do It Belgium on November 29 in Antwerp’s ecological house,
Ecohuis, where visitors can learn about environmentallyfriendly buildings.
As a consequence of a growing litter problem, which is
increasingly frustrating the Belgian population, Belgian
authorities are looking into the possibilities of introducing a
deposit scheme for all beverage packaging. This could replace
or complement Belgium’s current PMD collection scheme
(Plastics and flasks, Metal packaging and Drink cartons),
which seems to have reached its limits.
Photo: Belgian children learning early-on the value of recycling
thanks to Let’s Do It Belgium!
All over the world, deposit schemes have proven to be a very effective tool to prevent people from littering. Collecting
and sorting at the source also allows high quality recycling of the collected streams and can even reach up to 100%
recycling content.
Let’s Do It Belgium is part of the Let’s Do It World movement, born in 2008 in Estonia, where, after months of
preparation, 50 000 people came together to get rid of 10 000 tons of garbage from roadsides, forests and town –
cleaning up an entire country in just one day.
To find out more, go to
WFO Round the World
THE AMERICAS – WFO is preparing several projects in The
Americas and is discussing with a variety of potential stakeholders who would be interested in participating in these upcoming
projects. One of which would involve further cooperation with
PlanetSolar, the largest solar-powered ship in the world. We
expect to be able to give more details in the next few months.
INDIA – India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, promised to make the cleaningPhoto: PlanetSolar, the largest solar-powered ship in the world
up of the Ganges River a
priority. WFO India, which is chaired by Jayesh Rambhia, is actively involved in the
ongoing discussions. Schoolchildren have already been invited to participate in the
collection of bottles in order to raise awareness and effectively add the right value
to waste.
Additional projects with surrounding countries are being discussed as well but are
still at an early stage. Cooperation between local and international partners have
proven effective in this region and further details will come in the following months.
Photo: India’s polluted waters
The Yamuna River, which flows from the Himalayas to the Ganges, is also one of India’s most polluted rivers. WFO continues to be highly concerned with its toxic levels of pollution and is motivated to gather help and resources in order to clean up
and provide help to the surrounding population.
European Maritime Day 2015
Every year, the European Maritime Day is celebrated in Europe in May and welcomes
the ever-growing maritime community. The European Maritime Day Conference is
organized around the event. This year, it will be held on May 28 and 29 at the Peace
and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus (Athens), Greece. The Conference will be set
around the theme of ports and coasts and the role they play in Blue Growth. WFO participated in 2013 and 2014 and plans to be involved in 2015 again as well for fruitful
high-level sessions and stakeholder workshops. Exhibitions, public happenings and
network events are also organized – the maritime community has already started
counting down the days to Piraeus!
WFO participates in networking event on river waste in Flanders, Belgium
On December 2nd 2014, Geert Scheys presented WFO’s activities at a networking event on river waste, which was organized by the Flemish waste agency OVAM. Other presentations were given on the international approaches of marine
litter (Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences), the results of Belgian research on litter in the Leie River and in the Northsea
(Ghent University) and the Flemish policies on marine litter (Ovam). The findings from one of the research studies indicate that waste water treatment plants elimate approximately 50% of the microplastics in sewage effluent.
The event was concluded by workshops presenting and discussing the anti-litter projects for the Leie (Lys) and the Maas
(Meuse) rivers. WFO participated in the workshop on the cleaning of the Leie River, together with the local authorities
and regional agencies such as Ovam and the Flemish river management and environment agencies. Ovam’s main objective is the prevention of waste. Ovam establishes waste management objectives by developing and supporting waste prevention initiatives.
The presentations can be downloaded at :
WFO Presents Eco-Modus
WFO is happy to present its newest member, Eco-Modus, in the fight against marine
litter. Eco-Modus specializes in recycling plastic and nonferrous metal scraps in Europe
and across the world. Offering the best services in the field of recycling, Eco-Modus
strives to be involved in all domains of the process, from the collection to the management, with knowledge on materials, logistics and inspections.
For more information, visit
Jean Saint-Aubin’s Passing
It is with deep regret that we announce the loss of Jean Saint-Aubin, who recently passed away in a road accident. Jean
was a fisherman in Honfleur (Calvados), France and dedicated to WFO’s cause. Jean was one of the very first French fishermen to have actively participated in WFO’s Fishing for Litter scheme. At WFO, we are touched by Jean’s commitment
and contribution to saving our environment. Jean was the last fisherman of the estuary of the Seine. Our heart goes out
to Jean’s family at such a difficult time.
MARLISCO Project - Marine Litter International Forum
In October, Mr. Yavuz Eroglu, WFO President of Turkey, Middle East and Africa, was specially invited to participate in
Marine Litters International Forum organized by MARLISCO (Marine Litter in European Seas: Social Awareness and CoResponsibility) where he presented WFO Projects to the participants. MARLISCO’s overarching goal is to raise public
awareness, facilitate dialogue and promote co-responsibility among the different actors towards a joint vision for the
sustainable management of marine litter across all European seas.
Innovative Collaboration by Belgian and French maritime and textile industries
On December 2nd 2014, VKC-Centexbel, the shared research center between Belgian plastics and textile industries, organized the closing event of the ZEETEX innovation project. This project, under the EU Interreg IV program, brought
together the maritime and textile industries of Flanders (Belgium) and northern France to evaluate the opportunities
for innovative collaboration. Marine litter is one of the fields in which further cooperation could be developed. WFO was
represented at the event by Geert Scheys.
For more information:
WFO Welcomes its New Communication Executive
WFO is delighted to have a new member on its team! As of December 1 st, Marguerite Korenblit is WFO’s Communications Executive and is here to liaise with you on WFO’s activities and
announcements. Please feel free to contact her should you have any questions or comments regarding WFO and other related issues.
Marguerite has a Master’s Degree in Political Communication and International Relations and a
Bachelor’s Degree in Translation (French, English and German). She recently finished a 9-month
internship at Huawei Technologies’ Public Affairs and Communications Office. Last year, she also
worked as an intern at a communications agency in the event planning department.
Happy Holidays!
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