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Oregon fishermen pull debris from ocean, recycle it to generate electricity

Created 8/13/2019 by Virginia Mersereau
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The Fishing for Energy partnership addresses the ever growing problem of debris from lost, abandoned or discarded fishing gear by “providing commercial fishermen with no-cost opportunities to dispose of derelict and retired fishing gear.” Every year, not only do marine species become trapped and entangled in this waste, but the lost gear can accumulate over time creating islands of metal and rope. These masses affect vessels and active fishing gear, which negatively impacts the maritime industry.

In Oregon, fishermen are taking part in this program. According to the article, “All of [the gear] is recycled. The metals go to Schnitzer Steel and everything else, like the plastic and netting, is taken to Covanta Energy in Brooks. There it is sorted and the materials that can be burned are incinerated. The heat from the fire creates steam, which pushes a turbine and generates electricity.”

Since the project started 10 years ago, it has collected more than 240,000 pounds of fishing gear (just from Oregon’s Port) and generated enough electricity to power more than 44,000 homes for one year.

Read more about how the Fishing for Energy partnership positively impacts sea life, fisherman and energy production >>

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