Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Michael Creed, has announced the Clean Oceans Initiative and has called for the participation of the entire Irish trawl fishing fleet in the scheme by 31st December 2019.
Creed wishes to have all Irish trawlers at every pier and every port actively participate in collecting, reducing and reusing marine litter and clean up our marine environment.
It is the country’s first coordinated initiative on land and at sea to manage marine litter.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara will engage with the industry to ensure 100% participation by the end of the year, and will report quarterly progress on targets to the Minister.
“I am setting out a challenge for our fishing industry to set a world first by having all of our fishing trawlers cleaning and removing plastic from the ocean every day, as they go about their activity at sea. This is good for the marine environment, fish stocks and our fishing industry,” the Minister said at the launch of Ireland’s Clean Oceans Initiative in the fishing port of Union Hall.
“We can only solve the problem of plastics in our oceans by working collaboratively. Ireland’s ‘Clean Oceans Initiative’ which I am launching today, aims to mobilise every member of the Irish seafood sector and its wider communities – every fishing port, fishery harbour and pier in Ireland - to take action.
Fishermen discover debris, including plastics, while fishing every day, and Minister Creed aims to facilitate fishermen bringing this waste home.
Funding has been made available under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to support the new initiative to provide on-board storage facilities and on-shore infrastructure for environmentally friendly disposal of all plastics, waste, ghost fishing gear, etc. recovered at sea.
The on-shore infrastructure will also be available to fishermen and aquaculture operators to dispose of unwanted fishing gear and other items with plastic content.
Marine Litter Prevention
In addition to the Clean Oceans Initiative, Minister Creed has asked BIM to assemble a collaborative team representative of all stakeholders to focus on solutions for marine litter prevention and removal.
The team will include fishermen and fish farmers, net makers, harbour authorities, fish processors, community groups, Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), academics and NGOs.
He has also asked BIM to include a broader outreach to the wider coastal community and to report back to him by the end of 2019 with proposals for further innovative solutions for the prevention and removal of marine litter.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.