Fishermen have 2nd job: Collect plastic trash at sea

Grouper season begins with a pact to haul in plastics along with fish

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Progreso, Yucatan — Fishermen here have signed an agreement to haul in more than grouper this season.

They will collect plastic trash drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, under a contract between fisheries and a coalition of public and private institutions.

On Monday, at the very beginning of the grouper harvesting season, the Union of Fishing Shipowners, Bepensa Foundation, Pronatura and the Progreso City Council jointly carried out the signing.

During the signing ceremony, the Pronatura President Ricardo Ponce Gutiérrez said the accord is unprecedented in Yucatan.

Ponce Gutiérrez congratulated the Shipowners’ Union for their initiatives to reduce plastic trash in the Gulf.

The president of the Union of Fishing Shipowners, José Manuel Sánchez González, indicated that the agreement will initially involve 354 of the more than 500 existing boats in Progreso.

Garbage brought ashore will be recycled, he said. Two fiberglass containers will be stowed in fishing boats to hold the collected rubbish.

The Mayor of Progreso, Julián Zacarías, said he was glad to see trash collection happening on the water. On land, recent trash-collection efforts at the port and in mangrove areas accumulated more than 41 tons of waste, he said.

Future plans include discouraging the fishermen from using plastic throw-away containers themselves.

Source: Sipse

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