190 tonnes of marine litter taken from sea last year

190 tonnes of marine litter taken from sea last year

190 tonnes of marine litter, including nets, plastic and wood was taken from the sea by Irish fishermen last year.

More than 230 vessels from are now involved in the voluntary 'Fishing for Litter' scheme, which then sorts and recycles the rubbish where possible.

Of the 12 ports involved, Kilmore Quay took in the most litter in 2019 with 35 tonnes followed by Castletownbere with 33 tonnes and then Dunmore East with 22 tonnes.

In the previous year, Castletownbere brought in 48 tonnes of marine litter followed by Dingle with 19 tonnes and Dunmore East with 10.

Since 2015, Irish fishermen have voluntarily hauled in 422 tonnes of marine litter, which is then collected for disposal or to be recycled.

190 tonnes of marine litter taken from sea last year

"Fishing for Litter is effectively a retrieval programme of marine litter from the marine environment," said Catherine Barrett who works for Bord Iascaigh Mhara which runs the programme.

"This marine litter would be on the seabed which makes the fishermen quite unique in accessing this litter which is on the bottom.

"We have a network of 12 ports and between them we have 95% of the boats participating."

Terry Kelly who works for the Harbour Master in Howth says that you could bring in anything.

"Trees are brought in on a regular basis, planks of timber that come off of ships, anything that falls off a ship.

"Wheelie bins come in sometimes."

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