Fishing for Litter aims to reduce marine litter by encouraging the fishing industry to collect ocean plastics, ghost gear and other debris that gathers in their nets during normal fishing activities.
TARGET USERS: Businesses, Industry, Government
KEY CONSIDERATIONS: All the fishermen who participate in the project are volunteers.
MORE INFORMATION: http://fishingforlitter.org/
Every year marine species, from lobsters and fish to sea lions and birds, become trapped or entangled in lost, abandoned or discarded fishing gear. This "derelict gear" (fishing line, nets, and pots) continues to capture fish and wildlife while at sea, even if no fishermen retrieves the catch. Lost gear can also accumulate over time, creating islands of metal and rope. Storms move these masses across the ocean floor, scouring fragile habitats like coral reefs and sea grass beds. Floating masses foul both vessels and active fishing gear, adversely impacting maritime industries.
In 2004 KIMO International started a simple yet imaginative project to tackle the problem of marine litter. Fishing for Litter aims to reduce marine litter by involving one of the key stakeholders, the fishing industry. Fishing boats are given large bags to collect the plastics, ghost gear and other debris that gathers in their nets during normal fishing activities. When the fishing boats come into port, they can unload the bags of litter. These bags are collected regularly and the rubbish is recycled or disposed of on land. All the fishermen who participate in the project are volunteers. On a daily basis, they are out at sea removing rubbish from the ocean.
From its humble beginnings at a single port in the Netherlands, Fishing for Litter has spread across Europe. OSPAR endorses Fishing for Litter and encourages its 15 member countries to adopt Fishing for Litter programmes as part of its Regional Action Plan against marine litter. The EU’s revised Port Reception Facilities Directive will make specific provision for Fishing for Litter waste in order to encourage more vessels and more harbours to take part.
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