Marine Debris Program Partner Announces Grant Awards to Reduce Derelict Fishing Gear
AUGUST 24, 2020 — On August 19, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a partner of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), announced four grants totaling $643,000 to support activities in Alaska, Florida, Maine, and Washington to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in the marine environment through the Fishing for Energy partnership.
The grantees will leverage an additional $226,000 in matching contributions, with a total of $870,000 dedicated for this work.
Through the Fishing for Energy partnership, MDP has worked with NFWF and private entities, Covanta and Schnitzer Steel Industries, since 2008 to promote proper disposal of old and retired fishing gear. Grant awards from this year’s Fishing for Energy program will support technological advancements to reduce ghost fishing and to prevent the loss of fishing gear, as well as to assist the state government of Florida and its partners to better coordinate its state-wide marine debris prevention, removal, research, education, and outreach efforts.
Reducing the occurrence of lost, abandoned, or discarded fishing gear in the marine environment is a priority for the MDP. This type of marine debris can be particularly harmful to fishery resources and the economy, as this gear can continue to fish long after it has become derelict, impacting fish catches and reducing stocks. Derelict gear is also a threat to many species of marine animals that can become entangled in lost fishing gear, and it can be a navigational and safety hazard, if gear fouls boat props or motors.
For more information, please contact Steve.Morrison@noaa.gov.