Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Fishing for Litter project has been funded by the European Fisheries Fund and will see the Trust, along with the support of partners such as the Holderness Fishing Industry Group (HFIG), working with local communities to collect and dispose of both fishing-related and general litter.
This project supports Yorkshire fishermen to understand the issues associated with litter, promotes responsible disposal of fishing waste on land and collection of litter found at sea. Participating fishing vessels receive hard wearing bags to collect litter as part of normal fishing activities. Full bags are emptied into a dedicated bin or skip on the quayside or in compounds.
The project started in 2015 and was initially branded as Fishing 4 Litter Holderness with bins being placed at 5 harbours and compounds along the East Yorkshire coast. Due to the project’s success, in 2017 it was expanded to encompass North Yorkshire, with bins being placed at 3 more harbours.
Fishing for Litter has proven popular with the fishing community and has been extended for another year until March 2020. Shellfish fisherman John White, of Withernsea who participates in the scheme acknowledged that Fishing for Litter will help protect the marine environment, saying:
A healthy marine environment makes for a healthy shellfishery which is why I am participating in the Fishing for Litter scheme. Litter within the marine environment is detrimental to our fishery. From my point of view there is a considerable cost as not only can it harm the shellfish we catch, it can also damage our machinery and takes considerable time to remove.