BIM Assists Fishing Industry to Develop Innovative Solutions to Tackle Marine Litter

Marine Litter 2014_web.jpg

Marine Litter 2014_web.jpg

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) recently hosted a workshop on ‘Marine Litter and Derelict Fishing Gear’ in the agency’s Seafood Development Centre (SDC) in Clonakilty, West Cork. The main aim of the workshop was to assist the fishing industry to explore innovative ways to tackle marine litter at sea and onshore. 

Group shot Back row: Dave Millard, BIM; Ted Browne, Cork County Council; Ian Lawler, BIM; Jan Cools, Milieu; Tom Piper, KIMO UK, Richard Cronin, Department of Energy, Environment and Local Government, Mike Murphy, Green Marine Front row: Frank Fleming, Responsible Irish Fish; Catherine Barrett, BIM and Leonie Dransfield, Marine Institute.

Expert talks were delivered by Milieu, on behalf of the European Commission’s MARELITT project; the Department of Environment and Local Government and KIMO UK. Local key stakeholders such as Cork County Council, Responsible Irish Fish, Harbour Masters, Green Marine, BIM and the Marine Institute participated in the workshop and shared perspectives and potential roles in addressing these maritime issues.

A key underpinning component is the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which requires member states to ensure that “Properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environments” and that, “Fishing for Litter offers a tried and tested tool that can be used to both remove litter from the sea and raise awareness of the issue”.

Fishing for Litter is a simple initiative aimed to reduce marine litter by engaging, one of the key stakeholders in the solution, the fishing industry. A number of successful Fishing for Litter schemes are running throughout Europe that not only involves the direct removal of litter from the sea, but also raises awareness within the fishing industry and local community.

Key objectives of the workshop were to identify a network of harbours and fishing vessels in the region so participating boats could land the marine litter they’ve caught in their fishing gear and to remove litter from the marine environment.

The stakeholders also investigated industry based solutions to assist in the prevention, removal and disposal of derelict fishing gear and where the management of the two maritime issues overlap.