Disregard of our oceans and seas is a pressing issue for our national and local governments in today’s society. Delegates from Norway, England, Scotland and Greenland gathered at Cork County Hall this week with industry experts to discuss the detriment of marine plastics to our waters.
The seminar held was the culmination of three years work and research by the transnational European Circular Ocean project, led by Cork County Council initiative Macroom E. ‘Inspiring communities to realise the hidden economic opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes’ is the project’s mission, and seeking solutions for the global problem of marine pollution was the focal point of this week’s seminar.
Guest speakers Lucy Hunt (Volvo Ocean Race), Sinead McCoy (Clean Coasts, An Taisce), Deirdre Clune MEP and Pascal van Erp (Ghost Fishing Foundation) were in attendance. Ms. Clune spoke about the significance of hosting the seminar discussions in Cork and how responsibility must be taken for the 12.7 million tons of plastic waste entering our waters annually.
‘With such a large coastline in Cork its fitting that the final seminar for this worthwhile project was held here this morning. Plastic producers must be responsible to put forward more sustainable solutions, particularly with production set to almost double over the next twenty years.’
With reference to the EU Plastics Strategy 2018, targets on single use plastics and less polluting alternatives are the response being put in place to challenge these issues. Hopefully these changes can bring considerable positive change to how we manage and think of marine waste on a local, national, and global level; a priority for Cork County according to Ted O’Leary, Senior Executive Officer Cork County Council.
‘We recognise that maintaining a pristine marine environment is essential, not just to the economy of Cork, but to the well being of current and future generations.’