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Marine litter hauled from sea by 130 boats

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 06, 2013

  • More than 130 fishing vessels caught 50 tonnes of marine litter in their fishing gear.

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MORE than 50 tonnes of debris, including tyres, fridge parts and tin barrels, have been pulled from the seas around Devon and Cornwall by fishermen.

Over 130 boats took part in the clean-up as part of the Fishing for Litter project.

Alison Elvey de Rios, South West Fishing for Litter Co-ordinator, said: "The project's momentum is growing year on year, and more fishermen are getting involved to help clean our seas."

The project provides vessels with large durable bags to collect marine litter.

Full bags are deposited on the quayside, where the harbour authorities move them to a secure skip.

Items commonly landed include pieces of plastic and polythene, rope and cord, nets, bottles, rubber, metals and textiles, which it is feared could destroy ecosystems or litter beaches and the shoreline.

Fishing for Litter was launched in March 2009 in Newlyn, steadily growing across the South West, with Hayle among recent ports to join.

Millions of marine mammals, birds, turtles and fish, perish as a result of entanglement or ingestion of discarded debris.

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment, heritage and planning, said: "Cornwall's beaches attract thousands of tourists each year, keeping them clean is very important; the waste collected by this project prevents it being washed ashore."

Dave Owens, assistant head of environment and waste management at the council, added: "The aim to add more ports and fishing vessels to the projects network will significantly increase the amount of marine and coastal litter removed from the seas."

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