A NATIONAL initiative to tackle the problem of plastic waste and marine litter aims to have the participation of the entire Irish trawl fishing fleet by the end of 2019.
Speaking at the launch of Clean Oceans Initiative at Union Hall pier, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed said his ambition is to have all Irish trawlers at every pier and every port actively taking part in the country’s first co-ordinated initiative on land and at sea to collect, reduce and reuse marine litter and clean up the marine environment.
‘I am setting out a challenge for our fishing industry to set a world first by having all of our fishing trawlers cleaning and removing plastic from the ocean every day, as they go about their activity at sea,’ said Minister Creed.
‘This is good for the marine environment, fish stocks and our fishing industry,’ he said.
‘This is a challenge which I am confident our fishing industry will rise to and succeed in setting an example for other nations.’
The Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation welcomed the launch of Clean Oceans Initiative.
‘As an organisation, we are committed to this challenge and enhance the work our fisherman are already voluntarily doing in bringing marine debris ashore, and the costs they incur for this work,’ said a spokesperson.