Fishing for Litter
Dow Benelux maintains a close relationship with the neighborhood. We have an active donation policy, for example. That way, we contribute to local and regional projects that sustainably improve the quality of the living environment. In doing this, we place emphases on nature and the environment, education, innovation and inclusion.
While fishing, benthic fishermen catch waste in their nets that has previously been dumped into the sea by other sea users or washed into the sea via rivers and land. In the “Fishing for Litter project,” participating fishermen bring this litter to land, where it is collected, disposed of, monitored and processed. The fishermen participate without personal gain. To store this waste on the ship, the fishermen carry big-bags on board. Upon returning to port, fishermen place the big-bag on the dock from where it is removed and processed by waste collectors. This prevents the same debris from repeatedly being fished out by fishermen or washing up on the beaches.
The litter is monitored six times a year from different ports. This provides insight into the waste and its origin. The monitoring data is brought to the attention of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment on an annual basis. In Europe, the Fishing for Litter project is a permanent item on the agenda of the Oslo-Paris Convention (OPSPAR) and the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) every year, which enables the KIMO organization to continuously bring and keep the issue of pollution of the seas and oceans to the attention of the various governments in Europe. On Ameland, the beachcombers keep 25 km of beach clean. This waste is also monitored. In this way, insight is gained into the waste present at the bottom of the North Sea (heavy waste) and the waste that washes up on the beaches (light waste). Over 285,222 tons of waste are removed from the sea by fishermen each year. Meanwhile, all fishing ports in the Netherlands are participating in the Fishing for Litter project, so that fishing vessels in each port can drop off the waste fished from the sea.