Cleaning the Nordic seas from dolly rope

By Wouter Jan Strietman on 02 August 2018

‘Dolly rope’. Not many people know this name, but some may recognize what it is. All around the North Sea coast, when strolling along the shoreline, chances are that you will notice blue or orange plastic threads sticking out of the sand. These threads may look familiar because they resemble fishing line, but they are actually dolly rope threads.

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The DollyRopeFree project

Dolly rope at sea - photo by WJ Strietman.jpg

Dolly rope is the name for orange or blue plastic threads that are used to protect bottom trawling nets against wear and tear. During fishing operations or maintenance work on the net, threads or bundles of dolly rope threads may end up in the sea. The result is that this material is commonly found along beaches in northern Europe and floating out at sea. This poses a threat to marine wildlife and a safety hazard to marine traffic.

In the DollyRopeFree project, we are developing solutions to reduce the amount of dolly rope ending up in the sea. The project is a partnership between the Dutch fishermen’s organization VISNED, the North Sea Foundation, the Dutch government, material specialists and scientists. The project is coordinated by Wageningen Economic Research.



The search for alternative materials