Another blog post … another Community Ally! This time a really important one to help tackle all the ghost fishing gear we pick up day after day on our beaches and coastline. We get lots of questions asking what we are doing about fishing nets and lines found washed up and how are we tackling the fishing industry. Here’s a few insights into what work is happening and how you can help

Our latest ally sign up involves the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme, who are doing amazing work around the UK installing line recycling bins at key businesses and locations. Collected line then goes to specialist recycling to make things like traffic cones, sun glasses, skateboards, wetsuits and even swimwear.

At the moment we have two business in Penzance signed up with bins, Mermaid Fishing Tackle and Newtown Angling outside of town on the A394 to Helston, and they take three types of line:

  • Nylon Monofilament

  • Braided lines / Fly backing

  • Fly Lines

But we are excited that our initial conversations could lead to trials of other types of line, particularly single use crab lines … which can pose a problem in the harbour over the summer months. We know that many of you are now regularly picking up marine plastic pollution on your walks and trips to the coast … and we’d love it if you could now drop any of the above line into the two collection points we have so far. We’ll keep you updated on plans for crab lines!

Credit: JoJo Harper

What about the bigger bits of net? Where do they go? We are lucky to live in Cornwall where innovation is pretty hot and awesome people care! There are several organisations working to collect ghost fishing gear and we are also home to ocean plastic recycling project ‘Odyssey Innovation’, founded by Rob Thomson from Fathoms Free. The project works with the Ocean Recovery Project, charities, NGOs, government bodies, the fishing industry, recyclers, manufacturers … the list goes on … to find long-term solutions which focus on a circular economy. Basically put – right now Rob collects ghost gear and makes kayaks out of it!

We contribute by getting as much ghost gear as we can to collection points, through our Community Allies such as Marine Discovery and Ocean High and also through our local Fishing For Litter point at Newlyn Harbour. Check here for more information on Fishing For Litter, a great organisation focusing on the fishing industry and how it can reduce plastic pollution.

These links are in early stages and once the storms return in the Autumn we hope to make full use of our new links and repurpose or recycle even more of the plastic pollution we pick up on our beach cleans. Please do come along and support us!

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