Ros a Mhíl, a key fishing port on the West coast, is the latest port to join Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) successful Fishing For Litter Programme. The initiative was launched by BIM last year in the ports of Castletownbere, Union Hall and Clogherhead. Between the four ports 34 vessels are now participating in the initiative.
The idea based is on a KIMO programme that has been successfully up and running in Scotland, South West England and the Netherlands for over two decades. The idea is a simple but effective one. When trawlers cast out their nets they pick up all kinds of litter. This is usually separated from the fish and thrown back at sea. Now participating vessels in the scheme are given large bags to collect this litter and when they return to quays the is properly disposed of. Since it’s inception Clogherhead alone has brought in 2 tonnes of waste.
Sean Griffin, Manager of Galway and Aran Fishermen’s Co-op said ‘We are collectively working together in Ros a Mhíl to improve the overall sustainability and efficiency of the port. We have a good working relationship which is allowing us to progress major projects for the harbour and BIM’s assistance in a number of these projects including Fishing for Litter has been instrumental in our success. There is a pride amongst fishermen and the local community in Ros a Mhíl and this pride will continue to drive our focus on environmental responsibility protecting our livelihoods and the local environment for many years to come’
Members of the Galway and Aran Fishermen’s Co-operative are already active in embracing BIM’s other environmental initiatives including BIM’s Fishing Net Recycling programme where nets are dismantled into a number of components, enabling the material to enter a number of recycling streams and saving it from being thrown into landfill, so far over approximately 11 tonnes of fishing nets have been recycled.
BIM’s CEO Tara McCarthy has said; ‘Sustainability is a key driver and priority for BIM and our fishing industry. Participation in this initiative can gain recognition for member vessels and their crews as Fishing for Litter contributes to BIM’s Certification and Sustainability programmes and Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability charter. Ros a Mhíl has already set a very high standard in driving environmental responsibility and I would like to congratulate and recognise the members of Galway and Aran Fishermen’s Co-op and Harbour Master Captain Connolly for their achievements to date’
Find out more about the Fishing For Litter programme here