Promoting the sustainable management of mussel farming nets


Miramare MPA (ITALY)


Brief Description: 

Mussel farming is well-developed in the Gulf of Trieste. To-date, 15 companies are operational, producing a total amount of 3,550 tons/year of mussels. Mussel nets and pieces of mussel nets are among the most frequently found items on the coastline of the Miramare MPA.

This measure refers to the awareness raising of the aquaculture sector on the problem of marine litter generated by the sector and the provision of training to ensure the implementation of sustainable management practices for mussel farming. Within this measure, relevant best practices for the management of mussel nets (from use and collection to final disposal) will be identified, while also the option of alternative materials for mussel nets (i.e. cotton) will be explored and an optimum solution will be setup and implemented. Producers will be informed accordingly to adopt more environmentally friendly practices during the mussel farming operations.

Lines of action:
  • Identify best practices for the sustainable management of mussel nets and the reduction of related releases into the marine environment;
  • Provide training to concretely promote the uptake of these sustainable management practices by mussel farms;
  • Organize stakeholder engagement and public awareness raising activities;
  • Explore the option of alternative materials (i.e. cotton) and demonstrate how this could be considered as a best practice within the sector.
Expected results 
  • Reduced inputs of mussel nets and litter in general to the coastal and marine environment of Miramare MPA.
  • Enhanced awareness of local communities and visitors of the MPA on the marine litter issue and in particular of mussel nets threat;
  • Strengthened collective consciousness, social action and participation, in particular of the aquaculture sector in addressing the issue of marine litter.
Performance indicators: 
  • Number of aquaculture farms involved in the measure;
  • Number of staff of aquaculture farmers informed;
  • Number of individuals reached.
Target groups:

Fishermen's and aquaculture farmers associations;


  • Aquaculture companies;
  • Port authorities, local authorities and other competent authorities;
  • NGOs and associations;
  • Media