BIM partnering with seafood industry for a cleaner and healthier ocean

As we celebrate World Oceans Day, BIM is showcasing our work to minimise the seafood industry’s impact on our oceans. 

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

In 2023, the aquaculture sector collected 17 tonnes of marine litter. CLAMS groups, collaborating with local communities and NGOs, worked on 29 clean ups across 12 bays, increasing awareness among seafood producers and heightening the profile of marine litter prevention and collection.  

Significant progress was made to prepare both the fishing industry and gear suppliers for the implementation of the new Single-Use Plastics Directive with the production of fact sheets disseminated through CLAMS groups and at industry events. The recycling of mussel barrels, rope and oyster bags were trialled with oyster bags showing significant potential. 

As part of the Clean Oceans Initiative, 12 ports take part in the programme, accepting marine litter from vessels landing in these ports. 97 per cent of vessels landing in these ports have signed up to the Clean Oceans Initiative. The Fishing for Litter programme has collected over 1000 tonnes of marine litter, trialled onboard technologies to reduce fishing generated waste and carried out waste characterisation surveys. 

The Clean Oceans Initiative was launched in 2019, building on BIM’s ongoing work in marine litter under the Fishing for Litter project. To improve the management of onboard and onshore industry generated waste streams, BIM has carried out several workstreams in recent years. 

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.