In January of this year, I launched the Clean Oceans Initiative to address the serious issue of marine plastic pollution. I have tasked Bord lascaigh Mhara (BIM) with leading implementation of the initiative. I understand that 199 Vessels have signed up to the Clean Ocean Initiative at 12 of Ireland's busiest ports with a total of 968 crew members now participating. BIM has reported that, for the first nine months of this year, over 365 tonnes of marine litter has been collected and 9 tonnes of used fishing nets collected for recycling by BIM’s mobile shredder, the ‘Green Machine’.
BIM estimates the cost of funding the Clean Oceans Initiative at €210,000 and has submitted an application for funding under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund to my Department.