Newburyport ghost gear to be recycled

August 17, 2012 by  

A new initiative to rid the Newburyport environment of unused fishing gear was launched by city officials last month.

Fishing for Energy originated in 2008 and was set up by a group of federal maritime officials, fishermen and other commercial interests hoping to recycle fishing gear which was no longer used or had been discarded. The seaside community in Massachusetts is joining forces with other areas that want to dispose of ghost gear in a cost-free way.

The initiative will encourage commercial fisherman to bring in ghost gear to be recycled, preventing the equipment from ending up in the environment. Reportedly, local conservationists viewed a documentary at a local film festival called ‘Stellwagen Sweep: Restoring Stellwagen Bank National Marine Fishery’, which highlighted the damage caused by abandoned fishing gear. The recycling and energy co-ordinator for the city, Molly Ettenborough, played a huge role in the organization of Fishing for Energy, resulting in 1.5 million pounds of ghost gear being disposed of since the launch of the scheme.

During mid-August, federal maritime officials will visit Newburyport to recognize that the city has joined the program. During this period, promotion using local poster printing services may take place, in addition to commercial dumpsters with placards on the side. According to Kate Yeomans, who is a qualified boat captain and Boat Camp supervisor, ghost gear can cause damage to equipment as well as destroying marine life and fish. Yeomans stated that the recycling initiative would be welcomed, as a large amount of refuse is washed ashore following storms.