Fishing for Litter to clean up the North Sea

SUPPORT: Fisherman Russ Conlon, at North Landing, Flamborough,is  supporting the Fishing for Litter campaign.

SUPPORT: Fisherman Russ Conlon, at North Landing, Flamborough,is supporting the Fishing for Litter campaign.

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LITTER THAT threatens marine life and the Yorkshire fishing industry will be cleared from waters off the Holderness coast as part of a new campaign to clean up our seas.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s new 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.

The announcement comes a week after The Yorkshire Post launched its new anti-littering campaign, Clean Up Yorkshire, after revealing how Yorkshire’s local authorities spend more than £77m a year clearing our streets.

Fishing for Litter aims to reduce the amount of litter in the North Sea both by encouraging fishermen to remove any litter they come across, but also raising awareness of the problems that marine litter causes for the industry to bring about long term change which prevents litter finding its way into the sea in the first place.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Fisheries and Wildlife Officer Kat Sanders said: “We have been working with fishermen and anglers from coastal towns such as Bridlington, Hornsea, Withernsea and Flamborough who understand that cleaner seas have a significant impact on the quality of marine life and seafood.

“By removing waste from the sea and preventing the discard of further litter, our beaches will become cleaner and safer and the impact on marine wildlife through ingestion, entanglement and contamination will also be reduced. It’s a win for wildlife and a win for those whose livelihoods depend on quality seafood.”

Participating fishing vessels will be given hard wearing bags to collect marine litter such as waste packaging and litter caught up in their gear. Full bags will be deposited on the quayside or at designated points in fishing compounds where they will be emptied into a dedicated bin or skip. The project manages the safe and responsible disposal of the waste once brought ashore, along with the associated costs.

Ms Sanders said: “We want the Holderness fishing industry to remain viable for many years to come as it has for centuries supported our local coastal communities. The scheme costs nothing to participate in and the more vessels that join, the more we can promote and put Holderness on the map, not only for the shellfish landed here but for the positive steps which industry itself is taking to maintain a healthy marine environment for future generations.”

Plans are being made to extend the project to the angling community, and the free Fishing for Litter sacks and bins are available now.

Shellfish fisherman John White, of Withernsea, who is participating in the scheme, said Fishing for Litter would help protect the marine environment.

“A healthy marine environment makes for a healthy shellfishery which is why I am participating in the Fishing for Litter scheme,” he said. “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.

To register for the scheme contact Ms Sanders on kat.sanders@ywt.org.uk or call 01262 422103.

Get involved and #CleanUpYorks

The Clean Up Yorkshire campaign will see groups across the region hold litter picks throughout June.

Whether it’s taking a bag with you while you walk your dog, or organising an event in your community or workplace, we want to hear about it.

Send us details of your litter pick, photographs and the number of bags collected to

hannah.start@ypn.co.uk

We also want to hear about the litter hotspots across the region. If you see it, snap it and send it over via The Yorkshire Post website or tweet your photographs using the hashtag #CleanUpYorks

For a list of Clean Up Yorkshire litter picks already announced, click here.

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