St. Petersburg, Fla. (March 3, 2016) - ReelCycle, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable waste solutions in protecting our world's oceans, has contracted with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to help reduce the impact of derelict fishing gear (gear that is lost in the marine environment) on Florida marine wildlife and habitats.
Derelict fishing gear has been recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a major source of debris impacting the marine environment, damaging ecosystems due to nets and heavy equipment settling upon the ocean floor, as well as “ghost fishing,” when a net continues to catch fish after it is lost. Derelict fishing gear can also impact navigational safety, damage fishing equipment and boats that are in use, and have economic repercussions on fishing enterprises and coastal communities.
ReelCycle has contracted with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to expand the Fishing for Energy partnership in Florida. The Fishing for Energy program was launched in 2008 as a partnership among Covanta, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the NOAA and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. The mission of the Fishing for Energy program is to provide a no-cost solution to fishermen to dispose of old, derelict or unusable fishing gear and to reduce the impact of derelict fishing gear on U.S. marine wildlife and habitats. The partnership works closely with state and local agencies, community groups, the fishing industry and local ports to achieve these goals and has established 44 locations in 10 states since 2008.
ReelCycle's on-the-ground effort will include establishing relationships with interested ports throughout the state and coordinating the disposal logistics of derelict fishing gear.
"We look forward to developing the Fishing for Energy partnership throughout the state of Florida and facilitate proper derelict fishing gear prevention and removal," said Devin Sanderson, President of ReelCycle. "Working with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other global organizations is a reflection of our ongoing commitment to sound and sustainable waste management practices for the fishing industry."
ReelCycle, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, engages in thought provoking disposal programs which offer practical, real world sustainable solutions to sport fishing anglers and commercial fisherman alike. ReelCycle aims to partner with and facilitate prosperous and sustainable recycling programs of fishing based gear, items and materials among non-profit organizations, businesses, trade associations, individuals and governmental organizations. This commitment leads to the conservation of our world's waterways.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.