Since the project started in the South West in 2009, Fishing for Litter has removed more than 200 tonnes of marine litter from the ocean. The volume of lightweight plastic items is much higher than initially anticipated forming 88% of all items surveyed during the last phase of the project. The overall tonnage of marine litter recovered by fishermen in Cornwall and Devon is considerably higher, since some items with a value e.g. scrap metal are often segregated out.
Currently, there are twelve participating harbours in the South West of England.
Around 150 fishing vessels are currently taking part in our project and are actively removing the litter they come across whilst fishing. Litter is often plastic but also includes textiles, metals and other materials.
Where possible Fishing for Litter Liaison staff try and locate the source of the litter to help prevent marine litter.
The project’s main aims are:
- To maintain a network of harbours and fishing vessels around the South West so participating boats can land the marine litter they’ve caught in their fishing gear;
- To change the working practices within the fishing industry, to help prevent litter reaching the marine environment in the first place;
- To highlight the impacts of marine litter