Fishing for Litter

BIM’s Fishing for Litter initiative simply encourages fishermen to take ashore the litter they encounter at sea while fishing.

As part of the wider Clean Oceans Initiative BIM is encouraging every fishing trawler working from Ireland’s 12 main fishing ports to join for the Fishing for Litter initiative. By year-end 2019, 95% of these trawlers were registered members of the scheme.

Established in 2015 the initiative is supported under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Project Aim

This national initiative helps to address the serious problem of plastic in the ocean as it threatens sea life and marine habitats.

Our Methods

  • BIM provides participating fishermen with large hardwearing bags to keep on-board their vessels, with the intention that any marine litter brought up in their hauls will be kept in the bag rather than discarded back into the sea.
  • When full, bags are landed on the quayside where they are moved into a designated skip by harbour staff­.
  • BIM works with port authorities to ensure the appropriate disposal of the material brought in by vessels.
  • BIM is conducting a sampling programme to monitor and record the marine litter. The types of marine litter collected at sea give us an idea of the sea or land-based sources, geographical origin and potential pathway into the sea. This is an important reason the FFL waste is kept separate from other waste.

BIM is working with industry to:

  • Investigate and support ways to reduce the seafood sector being a source of marine litter.
  • Improve on-board waste management practices whilst out at sea.
  • Increase awareness amongst the fishing industry about the impact of marine litter on the marine environment.
  • Collectively share and report the commitments of the catching sector to support marine litter reduction.

Next Steps

Register your Vessel for the Scheme

Tools for Industry

Learn more

UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 14, Life Below Water

European strategy for plastics

Science and Technology in Action (STA) is designed to support the teaching and learning of science and related subjects. BIM have helped develop the following lesson plans:

Learn about the life of plastics − from cradle to grave

Download The Life of Plastics Lesson in Irish (pdf 814Kb) 

Learn about Marine Litter

Read the lesson on marine litter in Irish (pdf 786Kb) 

Read about the "Clean Oceans Initiative" that sets target for 100% of Irish trawlers to recover plastic waste from the oceans on every fishing trip.

Contact Us

To learn more contact:

Catherine Barrett
Mobile: +353 (0)87 2897651