Mannar Region Systematic Solution (MARESSOL) to limit marine litter from ocean-based industries in the Mannar region -based in policy and producer responsibility development

Project title: Mannar Region Systematic Solution (MARESSOL) to limit marine litter from ocean-based industries in the Mannar region -based in policy and producer responsibility development

Location: Gulf of Mannar & Palk Bay

Duration: (1 Apr 2021 to 1 Sep 2024) 3 years

Project Background

Marine litter is one of the most visible types of plastics impacting the marine ecosystem. Poor plastic waste management results mainly due to the lack of awareness, lack of adequate policies and poor enforcement. Taking all these issues into consideration, MARESSOL project is a regional initiative to understand and address the problems of marine litter with a special focus on ALDFG (Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear). ( 

In this context, - Salt Lofoten AS - SALT (, SDMRI (Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, India.: and LEF (Lanka Environment Fund:  partnered with IUCN to conduct scientific studies with a focus on ALDFG and to improve awareness to reduce litter from fisheries related activities in the marine environment, surrounding beaches and local environment in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay region.

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Further, to facilitate the data collection and implementation, the project will engage with local universities. The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and the Marine Environment Protection Authority will be the key government organisations involved in the project activities. Geo Informatic Center of Asian Institute of Technology will assist the project in developing a Citizen Science application for mobile phones.

The project area has three large marine protected areas- the Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, the Vidattaltivu Marine Reserve in Sri Lanka and the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park in India.

Objectives of the project

Overarching objective is to limit the amount of marine litter from fisheries and ocean industries entering and depositing in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay.  

The specific objectives are to,

  1. Conduct studies on Abandoned, Lost and Discarded Fishing Gear - ALDFG and the fishing gear imports and manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka.
  2. Conduct studies on micro and macro plastic on selected beaches to assess the level of pollution to support marine litter management through improved policies.
  3. Collect data and create awareness using “Citizen Science.”
  4. Conduct policy dialogues in partnership with SDMRI India and other partners to enable a systematic and targeted approach to limiting ALDFG and marine plastic pollution in general in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay Region.


Expected Outputs

-Scientific research on sources of marine litter in a traditionally fisheries intensive area with a high degree of marine pollution

-Exchange and awareness building on sources and best practice solutions presented to governments, regional authorities, fisheries communities, industry actors and producers

-Contribute to policy improvement to reduce marine pollution

-Pilot of possibilities for physical clean up by the fisheries industry and dialogue process on possible policy framework for regional producer responsibility

Donor/s:  Salt Loften AS - SALT

Partner/s: SDMRI, LEF

Sri Lanka