ADRINET capitalisation project, a report on the workshop in Durres (Albania)

07 April 2023
ADRINET capitalisation project, a report on the workshop in Durres (Albania)

In the frame of the capitalisation actions of the project  ADRINET - Adriatic Network for Marine Ecosystem, funded by the Interreg IPA CBC Italy-Albania-Montenegro Programme, the Agriculture University of Tirana, as project partner, organized on Friday 31 March 2023 from 9.30 – 16.00, in the premises of ARVI Hotel in the City of Durres, Albania, the workshop titled "Meeting between fishermen's trade unions, Competent Authorities, Research Centres, University and Regional Agencies". 

The workshop was attended by representatives of the following sectors: Fishermen, Fishermen Association of Durres, Regional Inspectoriate of Durres, General Directorate of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Governing Authorities of the Agriculture University of Tirana, Academic Staff and students. 

The presentations, in line with the topics on the agenda, stimulated a special interest among the participants, who by asking questions or encouraging debates listed some issues, such as the following: 

  • Starting from the problematic of "ghost" fishing, a very sensitive issue for fishermen, for the environemnt pollution, also for the entire chain of fishing products, the participants requested to increase the sensitivity of the state authorities, regarding the improvement of the national legal base, for their economic support for the recovery of lost nets (ghost), or other fishing tools. 
  • The representative of the Fishermen's Association Durrës, listed the difficulties that the fishermen have in this area for the recovery of the nets, as well as the lack of described procedures in the cases of removing them from the sea. For this reason, they asked for the possibility of exchanging experiences with fishermen from cross-border coastal areas.
  • Particpants also suggested the possibility of including the Region of Durrës in a project for equipping networks with RFDI microprocessors, based on the practice applied in the Vlora Bay.
  • During the discussions, it was suggested to create a data base for the registration of all lost networks, at national level. There are no data related to this issue at the national level.
  • The professional fishermen emphasized the fact that the non-professional fishermen cause mostly ghost fishing or other problems that negatively affect the activity of professional fishermen, but also the pollution of the sea.
  • It was emphasized that the Fisheries Inspectorate should be more active and present by taking concrete measures to avoid illegal procedures that damage and directly affect the pollution of the sea, biodiversity and marine ecosystems.
  • In this workshop, the scientific analytical results carried out by the Department of Veterinary Public Health - Agricultural University of Tirana, and related to environmental pollution in the Vlora bay, were presented. The results regarding the presence of PAH (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) in water and sediments, heavy metals in cephalopods, antibiotic residues, pesticides and microplastics in fish were followed with great interest. 
  • Given that microplastics in fishing products, in recent years, has created a great concern related bothly to  the damage of marine life, but also a real risk in the introduction of the food chain, the sensitivity to delve into this argument, based also in the results, shown both by the academic staff and the students, who asked to learn in depth why the risk of their presence is considered high, what it can provoke in human health, what are the methods of detection.
  • Also inspectors of the National Food Authority-Durres, were interested in the presence of microplastics, and all types of environmental pollution that affect the hygienic quality of fishing products, and the ways of prevention in the food chain. 
  • During this meeting two memorandum of understanding were signed with the representatives of the Fishery Inspectorate Durres and OMP.
  • Local and national media were also interested in covering this activity. Specifically, an interview of the coordinator of the Adrinet Plus Project, Prof. Fatmira Shehu, from Bulevard-Durres television (in the informative edition of March 31) and a television chronicle "Blue Economy" - with interviews of 2 speakers on the panel were carried out: Mr. Olsi Simsija (OMP), Dr. Enkelejda Buda-Fishery Laboratory/Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries- UBT, on the national television Top Chanel in the informative edition of April 4, 2023. 

Watch the TV report on Top Channel.