Fishermen have broken all records for marine litter returned to shore under the Fishing for Litter scheme in the Netherlands. Participants in IJmuiden, Den Helder, Harlingen, Stellendam and Vlissingen have already received certificates.
Local government officials have presented certificates in recognition of fishermen’s contribution to the Dutch Fishing for Litter scheme. Fishermen in Delfzijl, Eemshaven, Den Oever, Scheveningen and Colijnsplaat will receive their certificates by post.
This year, Fishing for Litter in the Netherlands returned more than 500 tonnes of marine litter to Dutch ports.
Over the last ten years, Dutch fishermen have retrieved an average of 300 tonnes of rubbish per year. 2019’s total of 558 tonnes brok all previous records.
An award-winning scheme
Fishing for Litter provides large, hard-wearing bags to boats which volunteer to participate in the scheme. Fishermen collect any waste caught alongside their catch. The project covers the costs of collection and disposal and raises awareness about the impact of marine litter. It also demonstrates the fishing industry’s commitment to a healthy environment.
Jan Joris Midavaine, who coordinates Fishing for Litter in the Netherlands said:
“Less marine litter in the sea means less debris washing up along the coast. So we can all enjoy cleaner beaches. By awarding certificates we want to recognise the hard work that makes Fishing for Litter possible. We also want to say thank you to the fishermen who take part.”
KIMO Netherland and Belgium’s Fishing for Litter scheme has grown in the last few years. 137 vessels now take part in the scheme, up from 83 in 2017.
The amount of waste collected by Dutch trawlers and shrimpers increased after the MSC Zoë disaster. In January 2019, the ultra-large container ship lost more than 342 containers overboard in the environmentally-sensitive Wadden Sea area. Experts believe 800,000kg of rubbish from this accident is still sitting on the seabed, waiting to be cleaned up.
More photographs and information (in Dutch) are available on the KIMO Netherland and Belgium website.
This post first appeared on KIMOinternational.org. KIMO is a network of local governments, working together for healthy seas, cleaner beaches, and thriving coastal communities. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up for our email updates.