Over 600t of marine waste collected by Irish industry since 2015

Minister for agriculture, food and the marine Charlie McConalogue has paid tribute to Ireland’s seafood sector for their continued efforts to reduce Ireland’s marine waste as part of the Clean Oceans Initiative. 

To date, the collaborative efforts of the sector have resulted in more than 600t of mainly plastic waste being collected at sea and during shore and pier clean-ups. A new focus for the initiative is the drive to help Ireland’s fisheries harbours with their waste management systems in collaboration with local gear manufacturers to manage fishing gear throughout its lifecycle.

Speaking at the pier in Greencastle, Co Donegal on 9 June, Minister McConalogue commended Irish fishing, aquaculture and coastal communities, highlighting the ongoing work of the sector to better manage gear to prevent it from entering oceans in the first place, and their efforts to remove waste from the marine environment.

He said: “The Irish seafood sector are a leading example of what can be achieved through collaboration. This collective approach is the key ingredient needed to tackle the plastic pollution pervading the marine environment. I am ever-impressed by the level of ingenuity being taken by the sector, and this new focus to address the problem of marine waste is helping to protect Ireland’s marine environment for future generations.”

The Clean Oceans Initiative is being led by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), and supported by the EMFF.

BIM CEO Jim O’Toole spoke of the learning being gained from the sector’s involvement in the pilot project to better understand the benefits of a circular economy, and said: “BIM is proud to support the work of Ireland’s fishers, aquaculture producers and other members of the seafood sector in their continued Clean Oceans Initiative activities.  

“The sector has assumed a leadership role in the protection of the marine environment through marine litter retrieval. BIM will continue to work with industry to ensure they are prepared for new waste management requirements under impending EU legislation.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here. 

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