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Program that collects derelict fishing gear marks 10 years

August 27, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fishing and environmental officials are celebrating 10 years of a program that has removed 4 million pounds of derelict fishing gear from waters off the U.S. coast.

A conservation partnership has placed bins in 55 coastal communities under the “Fishing For Energy” program. Under the program, derelict and retired gear placed in those bins is either recycled or turned into energy by Schnitzer Steel, Covanta and other recycling and waste-to-energy facilities.

Officials on Tuesday celebrated the milestone at the Portland Fish Exchange and gave a demonstration on how lost or discarded fishing gear can be recycled.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation CEO Jeff Trandahl says it’s important to remove lost traps and fishing gear because they often continue to catch fish.

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