The Port of Lorient Keroman has established a programme of collecting end-of-life fishing gear, in co-operation with the Departmental Fisheries Committee and the Coopérative Maritime. In the longer term, this could become a recycling channel for trawl gear.
It is in an attempt to improve the disposal of worn out fishing gear, Lorient Keroman has set up a pilot project within the Coopérative Maritime’s RECYPECH project.
‘The objective is to be able to recover the netting sheets from the trawls which are made of polyethylene, a plastic which is not recycled for the moment but which could be,’ explained Anouck Le Crann at Sem Lorient Keroman, the port’s management company.
‘In particular, it should make it possible to support fishermen so as to optimise the structure for collecting and processing used trawl gear and nets.’
Currently, most waste gear ends up being incinerated, without going through a recycling process.
If the volumes collected are sufficient, a venture could then be set up, and there are already facilities in northern Europe for recycling polyethylene. As the project was launched last month, a number of fishing companies have already responded.
Sem Lorient Keroman and the Coopérative Maritime are providing two kinds of collecting bags – one for smaller polyethylene offcuts and the other for larger items.
‘This involves some work, for sure,’ said Laouen de Kersauson at the Coopérative Maritime. ‘But these good habits are worth developing and this improves the fishing sector’s image.’
An initial assessment will be made in the autumn.