The Fishing for Energy Partnership Awards Grant Funding to Reduce the Impacts of Derelict Fishing Gear and Marine Debris

The Fishing for Energy Partnership Awards Grant Funding to Reduce the Impacts 
of Derelict Fishing Gear and Marine Debris 
WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwire) -- 03/21/13 --  Fishing for Energy,
the public-private partnership aimed at reducing the adverse effects
of derelict fishing gear (gear that is lost in the marine
environment) and marine debris, today awarded four grants through the
Fishing for Energy Fund. The grants will support projects that reduce
derelict fishing gear in and around coastal waterways and increase
public awareness of the threat derelict gear and marine debris pose
to the marine environment. The Fishing for Energy Fund is
administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and
is a partnership with Covanta Energy Corporation, Schnitzer Steel
Industries, Inc., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program.  
Every day commercial fishermen around the country deploy hundreds of
traps and miles of nets into ocean and coastal waters to land their
catches. Due to circumstances out of their control, like powerful
weather events and disturbances from other vessels, some gear can
vanish at sea. When this happens, fishermen lose both their gear and
the associated profits. Moreover, the lost gear continues to capture
fish, which degrades the marine habitat and resources. This
phenomenon is called 'ghost fishing' and is an economic and
environmental hardship to fishing industries and coastal communities. 
The grants from the Fishing for Energy Fund will engage more than
1,500 fishermen and collect over 40 tons of derelict fishing gear. A
total of $383,780 will support projects in the United States,
including at-sea gear removal; gear density assessments; research of
economic and resource impacts; and, the exploration of prevention
technologies. When added to $266,178 in additional funds garnered by
the grant recipients, close to $650,000 will support on-the-ground
activities to assist fishing communities and protect the marine
environment gear.  
"A primary goal of the Fishing for Energy partnership is to reduce
the adverse economic and environmental impacts from derelict fishing
gear. With these new grants we are investing in research to reduce
and prevent the accumulation of derelict fishing gear in the marine
and coastal environment," said Nancy Wallace, Program Director and
Division Chief of NOAA's Marine Debris Program. 
Specific Fishing for Energy Fund recipient activities include: 


 
--  Under the guidance of the College of William and Mary,Virginia
    Institute of Marine Science, Chesapeake Bay watermen will remove close
    to 30,000 derelict blue crab pots from the Virginia portion of the
    Chesapeake Bay and recycle them.
--  The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation will assess the density and
    environmental impact of derelict fishing gear in the Gulf of Maine and
    will survey New England lobstermen to assess the economic impact of
    derelict fishing gear on their activities.
--  The College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
    will assess the effectiveness of various disabling apparatuses to
    prevent lost gear from ghost fishing.
--  The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies will assess the presence
    of derelict fishing gear in target areas of the Outer Cape Cod Bay and
    remove up to 40 tons of fishing gear.

  
"With the Fishing for Energy grant, Maine, New Hampshire, and
Massachusetts resource managers are working with both fishermen and
non-profits to get an estimate of how much gear is in the Gulf of
Maine and what possible impact it has to the marine environment and
to fishermen," said Erin Pelletier, Executive Director of the Gulf of
Maine Lobster Foundation. "We are very excited about this
collaborative regional approach which will help gain more information
about derelict fishing gear in the Gulf of Maine, and in turn provide
state managers and scientists the ability to look at strategic
planning in the future." 
Since 2008, Fishing for Energy has worked closely with state and
local agencies, community and fishermen groups, and local ports to
assist in the prevention, removal and disposal of derelict fishing
gear. The partnership also facilitates conversations and research at
the state and regional levels to address derelict fishing gear at
scale.  
Along with the grant program, the Fishing for Energy partnership
places bins at commercial fishing ports where fishermen can dispose
of old, unused or abandoned gear free of charge. Through the
placement of these bins and grant activities, more than 1.98 million
pounds of gear have been collected from commercial fishermen through
2012. 
About Fishing for Energy
 Fishing for Energy is a partnership between
Covanta Energy Corporation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
(NFWF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. The
partnership was established in 2008 to address the issue of marine
debris and derelict fishing gear. The partnership works to address
this problem in two ways: by providing commercial fishermen with
no-cost opportunities to dispose of derelict and retired fishing
gear, and by offering grant support for direct assessment and removal
efforts. By assisting in prevention and removal of derelict fishing
gear, Fishing for Energy restores the quality of marine and coastal
habitats and supports the communities and industries that rely on
these resources. For more information, please visit
www.nfwf.org/fishingforenergy.  
About Covanta
 Covanta Energy Corporation is an internationally
recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and
renewable energy projects. Covanta's 44 Energy-from-Waste facilities
provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their
solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to
generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern
Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert
approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours
of clean, renewable electricity and create more than 9 billion pounds
of steam sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit
www.covantaenergy.com.  
About National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
 The National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's
wildlife and habitats. Created 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. NFWF has funded
more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.1 billion to
conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.   
About NOAA
 NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's
environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun,
and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. The NOAA
Marine Debris Program, housed within the Office of Response &
Restoration, coordinates, strengthens, and increases the visibility
of marine debris issues and efforts within the agency, its partners,
and the public. The program supports activities at both a national
and international level focused on identifying, reducing and
preventing debris from entering the marine environment. NOAA's Office
of Response and Restoration (OR&R) protects coastal and marine
resources, mitigates threats, reduces harm, and restores ecological
function. The Office provides comprehensive solutions to
environmental hazards caused by oil, chemicals, and marine debris.
For more information, visit: www.noaa.gov.  
About Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
 Schnitzer Steel Industries,
Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled
ferrous metal products in the United States with 56 operating
facilities located in 14 states, Puerto Rico and Western Canada. The
business has seven deep water export facilities located on both the
East and West Coasts and in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The Company's
integrated operating platform also includes its auto parts and steel
manufacturing businesses. The Company's auto parts business sells
used auto parts through its 50 self-service facilities located in 14
states and Western Canada. With an effective annual production
capacity of approximately 800,000 tons, the Company's steel
manufacturing business produces finished steel products, including
rebar, wire rod and other specialty products. The Company commenced
its 106th year of operations in fiscal 2012. Schnitzer was named
Scrap Company of the Year by American Metals Market's 2011 Awards for
Steel Excellence. This award recognizes advancements rooted in
pioneering and implementing business improvements that have delivered
real change to the steel industry. 
Media Contact:
James Regan, Covanta Energy
862-345-5216
jregan@CovantaEnergy.com  
Port Contact:
Erin Hofmann, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
(202) 595-2469
erin.hofmann@nfwf.org 
 
 
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