POLLUTANTS: Discarded fishing gear, especially gillnets, can threaten navigation safety and marine life, and can also decompose into microplastic debris, releasing toxins
Date: Sep 23, 2020
By: Lin Chia-nan and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Forty environmentalists from the foundation and environmental consultancy IndigoWaters Institute surveyed 19 coastal communities to produce the nation’s first illustrated report on fishing waste, finding that gillnets pose a particularly urgent threat to marine ecology.
While the Environmental Protection Administration is in charge of onshore waste produced from daily consumption, there is no systematic disposal among government agencies of waste fishing gear that poses a danger to marine life, foundation executive director Chang Hui-chun (張卉君) said.
The Hualien-based foundation over the past year worked with IndigoWaters to document the fishing gear that is often discarded nationwide and interview fishers at ports in eastern Taiwan to produce the report, she said. [FULL STORY]