Fishing Gear: Plastics

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have for ending the use of plastics in fishing lines and nets.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State

Through the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR), the UK co-led a study (attached and available at on best practice for the design and recycling of fishing gear in the North-East Atlantic. This study will support countries to develop measures to reduce the environmental impact of fishing gear at end-of-life, which could include alternative gear design and improved recycling.

A wide variety of materials are used to make fishing gear and important design considerations include functionality, durability and cost. Plastic is an essential material in current fishing gear and the Government is not planning to end its use.

In England, the Government has committed to reviewing and consulting on measures such as Extended Producer Responsibility to ensure that fishing gear that is no longer fit for purpose is disposed of correctly and prevented from polluting the ocean.

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