Fishing Gear: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th March 2023.

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Photo of Samantha Dixon Samantha Dixon Labour, City of Chester

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to prevent discarding of fishing nets in the sea by vessels landing at ports.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK is committed to protecting the marine environment from all human-induced stressors, including marine litter such as abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG). We are exploring methods to recycle and reuse ALDFG as well as end of life gear at ports and aquaculture farms with the intention of moving the sector to-wards a circular economy model.

The UK is also working collaboratively at the International Maritime Organization to further address actions that have been identified under its 2018 Action Plan and 2021 Strategy on marine plastic litter from ships, in particular ALDFG.

As a Contracting Party to the OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, the UK is implementing actions under the new OSPAR Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter to tackle fishing gear as marine litter and have committed to ambitious targets under the North East Atlantic Environment Strategy.

The UK is a member of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the first initiative dedicated to tackling this problem on a global scale. Through the UK’s £500m Blue Planet Fund that was launched in 2021, we are also working in partnership with de-veloping countries to tackle marine pollution, including ALDFG.

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