March 30, 2021
“Marine Litter Crisis Must Be Tackled Now” – Chris MacManus MEP

“Marine Litter Crisis Must Be Tackled Now” – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for the EU and Member States to get serious about tackling ocean pollution and has outlined the need for marine litter to be tackled now. 

The Midlands Northwest MEP was speaking in relation to a European Parliament Vote on the impact on fisheries of marine litter. MacManus commented:

“The scourge of litter in our oceans is a global problem and it requires an urgent global response. We’ve all seen the heart-breaking images of wildlife caught in plastic rings or fishing nets and unfortunately that is only the tip of the iceberg. Only 1% of the plastic in the ocean is actually found floating on the surface, whilst most of it ends up in deep-sea. For example, every day, 730 tonnes of waste are dumped directly into the Mediterranean and every year a further 11 200 tonnes of plastics dumped in the environment find their way into the Mediterranean. These are staggering statistics and should serve as a wake up call.”

“We as MEPs have voted on a non-legislative report that intends on tackling the issue of marine litter with proposals such as calling on Member States to determine minimum collection rates for fishing gear containing plastic.”

“The report also calls for supports to be made available to fishers for the collection of lost fishing gear and other marine waste. These are very practical steps that can be taken to mitigate the problem, but the alone won’t solve it.”

MacManus concluded, “This report won’t solve the scourge of pollution in our oceans, but it’s an incremental step towards getting our governments to wake up and address it.” ENDS

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