Clean Oceans Initiative

The Clean Oceans Initiative is the umbrella name for a range of BIM and seafood industry supported programmes to minimise the impact their sector has on our oceans, including Fishing for Litter , Co-ordinated Local Aquaculture Management Systems (CLAMS), Gear Retirement Scheme, shore and pier cleans, and waste management services.

Involvement in the Clean Oceans Initiative demonstrates the Irish seafood industry’s commitment to sustainability for a healthy ocean and contributes towards Ireland’s responsibilities under the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU plastics strategy.

There are five pillars to the Initiative.


BIM endeavours to work with traditional and new stakeholders under the Clean Oceans Initiative. We aim to increase awareness and understanding of the impacts of plastic on the marine environment with new stakeholders and the wider public, while continuing to support engagement with the seafood industry.


Responsible retirement of aquaculture and fishing gear demonstrates the commitment of the sector to the circular economy and moves away from waste gear to reuse and repurpose. Applying circular economy principles allows for both environmental and social gains and reduces the impact of plastics on the environment.


This is key action pillar for the primary production sector. Important and substantial actions are ongoing for voluntary retrieval of marine litter across the Irish marine and seafood sectors which improves the health of the ocean and minimises the impact of litter on the marine environment . The catching sector through Fishing for Litter and by the aquaculture producers through the shore and pier cleans demonstrates and measures this voluntary  stewardship of the marine environment.


Recording our metrics is important to providing evidence-based information on the Clean Oceans Initiative.   There are several data demands on the sector to demonstrate their participation in the Clean Oceans voluntary initiatives. BIM will develop verifiable systems to record stakeholder sourced data, demonstrating success and engagement in the Clean Oceans Initiative and allow benchmarking for performance and continuous improvement.


Championing and supporting individual and community efforts in the effective management and stewardship of the sectors impacts and contribution to clean healthy oceans. Demonstrating performance and recognising the effort and co-operation that it takes to be successful and make a difference in protecting our marine environment is integral to the Clean Oceans Initiative.

The Clean Oceans Initiative is funded through the Sustainable Fisheries Scheme which is established under Union Priority 1 of Ireland’s Operational Programme under the EMFF and is co-funded by the Irish Government and the EU.


For More Information

Sustainability & Assurance Manager

Catherine Morrison

Fisheries Development Officer

Catherine Barrett