Fishing for Energy Adds a New Port for Recycling Marine Debris

The public-private Fishing for Energy partnership has partnered with the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington’s Westport Marina to recycle an estimated 1,050 crab pots and other marine debris.

Efforts to collect this marine debris have already begun as part of a project managed by The Nature Conservancy and the Quinault Indian Nation, with a collection bin placed at the marina in Westport, Washington.

The three-year marine debris removal project, led by The Nature Conservancy, is supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, and builds on existing marine debris programs on Washington State’s outer coast to remove derelict fishing gear and improve waterways.

Fishing for Energy is a nationwide partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program, the sustainable waste and energy solutions firm Covanta, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, a major metal recycling firm. The partnership offers collection bins for disposal of old fishing gear, easing the way for fishing communities to deal with derelict gear. The partnership recycles gear made of metal and processes the remaining gear and debris to generate renewable energy at Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facilities.

Since 2008, Fishing for Energy has processed more than 3 million pounds of old fishing gear, a portion of which has been retrieved directly from the ocean by fishermen. The partnership is a recipient of the prestigious Coastal America Partnership Award, which is presented to groups that restore and protect coastal ecosystems through collaborative action and partnership.