Environment Minister Jose’ Herrera has announced a scheme for fishermen to start collecting plastic waste brought up in their nets from the bottom of the sea. The fishermen will be compensated for the collected plastic. Minister Herrera stated that in this manner the fishermen themselves will be contributing to sea cleaning efforts, whilst ensuring fish sustainability.
During the launch of the pilot project, the Environment Minister stated that this scheme will cost some 30,000 euro, and fishermen will be compensated when they collect plastic from the sea for recycling.
The Minister referred to a number of measures being taken in this sector, saying this was another link in the chain leading to cleaner seas. “We also have an initiative to effect changes to traditional fishing methods, by which fishermen will start using biodegradable material instead of plastic.”
The Parliamentary Secretary responsible for Fisheries, Clint Camilleri, stated that safeguarding the marine environment is an environmental priority. Camilleri added that this scheme is part of a 150,000 euro fund announced in the budget, and applications for it will close on 28 December.
The Parliamentary Secretary pointed that applicants have to be in possession of a fishing licence, and have to be authorised to operate fishing vessels for trawling.