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Fishing for Litter Scheme Extends Across North's Fishing Ports

12th February 2017
Fishing for Litter is a project aimed at reducing litter in the sea, by engaging the commercial fishing communities of Northern Ireland. The project began with Ardglass Harbour (above) and is been rolled out to include Warrenpoint this Spring. Fishing for Litter is a project aimed at reducing litter in the sea, by engaging the commercial fishing communities of Northern Ireland. The project began with Ardglass Harbour (above) and is been rolled out to include Warrenpoint this Spring. Photo: NIFHA

#FishingForLitter - Fishing is one of the most tried and tested industries people have ever invented as we have been fishing for thousands of years. The way fish are caught has been transformed many times, but the core ideas remain. We hope the industry will be here for thousands of years to come and that’s why Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (NIFHA) in conjunction with Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and KIMO have developed Fishing for Litter (see facebook)

Years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the oceans were so vast any pollution would be diluted into safe measures. We now know this is wrong. Smaller sea creatures feed on waste, which in turn makes its way up the food chain to us. That’s bad for us to eat, and also poses a problem for the fishing industry

In recent decades, the problem has exploded because of the extensive use of petrochemical products such as plastic and oil based [paints which don’t occur naturally. Nature has no way to deal with these, so they remain in the sea causing damage to the habitats and wildlife that live there

How it Works

Boats catch litter in their nets and so each boat is supplied with a durable reusable waste bag, to store this litter until they return to the Harbour. On return to port, the skipper contacts the operational Manager to arrange collection.

The fishermen land the bag of litter, where a member of the operations team will collect it.

The operational team collect this litter using the forklift and bring it to the waste compound for sorting. Waste is recycled where possible and the rest is disposed of responsibly using local specialists.

The Net Result

For coastal towns like Warrenpoint, Kilkeel, Ardglass and Portavogie cleaner seas can have a great impact on the quality of Life By removing waste from the water around us, sea life will be able to thrive. Our Beaches will be much nicer to use, because they’ll be cleaner and safer. For fishermen, there will be less damage to the nets and less catch lost to contamination.

About the Scheme

Fishing for Litter is a project funded by DAERA which is being extended across Northern Ireland Fishing ports. The Scheme, which initially launched in Ardglass and extended to Kilkeel and Portavogie will now be introduced to Warrenpoint Harbour.




Published in Fishing
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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