With over 10,000 miles of coastline, it is no surprise that Newfoundland and Labrador has been built along the coast, with many communities relying year after year on the ocean for their livelihood. Unfortunately, the marine environment experience various threats daily, which includes marine debris.
As part of a pilot project based in Petty Harbour NL, CPAWS-NL plans to identify any barriers that ocean users may face in regards to waste disposal and engage participants to bring back all waste to shore and dispose appropriately in accordance with local waste management regulations.
In consultation with the Clean Foundation of Nova Scotia, CPAWS NL plans to work with local fishers, marine vessel operators and harbour management and engage them into a program that will encourage them to bring all their waste back to shore and dispose of it appropriately and in accordance with local waste management regulations. This program will address concerns regarding improper disposal practices of marine waste at sea and on land, and will improve waste infrastructure needs at commercial fishing harbours thereby reducing the amount of waste cumulating in these areas.
Identifying barriers that inhibit proper waste disposal will help reduce the amount of waste in our oceans and along our diverse coastlines.
Marine debris damages habitats, kills wildlife, deters tourists, threatens human health, and is a hazard for gear and navigation. It is a problem that requires careful attention and effects everyone. The density and distribution of marine debris originating from human activities are primarily governed by the amount of fishing and shipping traffic, the proximity to populated coastal areas, and the patterns of oceanic circulation and surface winds. Discarded and lost fishing gear and other debris from fishing vessels are most noted as the dominant components of marine debris.
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