MARELITT projects, Ireland

BIM is developing an industry-led marine litter retention project in the County of Cork.

Project summary

Participants: Bord Iascaigh Mhara (lead), Cork County Council, harbourmasters of Castletownbere, Dingle, and Unionhall, fishermen of the three ports, Responsible Irish Fish.

Location: North-East Atlantic – Celtic Sea / Cork County (IE)

Fishing ports involved: Castletownbere, Dingle, and Unionhall

Project objectives: develop a framework of local solutions for marine litter removal, promotion of sustainable fishery practices (Environmental Management System), improving knowledge on marine litter in the area



The project aims to develop a framework of local solutions for marine litter removal, based on existing experiences in the UK and elsewhere.

The projects’ framework will assess which operational model works, which steps need to be taken, which partnership is most appropriate, how fishermen can be best engaged, how much they cost and which financial mechanisms are needed to sustain marine litter removal. The framework will look at all steps of the marine litter removal pathway, i.e. from the collection at sea, to the landing on the quay, transportation and treatment of marine litter.


Castletownbere harbour While it is essential that the solutions work at local level, the project also aims to develop an approach which can be transferred to other harbours in Ireland. In order to test the consistency and transferability of the approach, it will be tested at three local sites: i.e. 2 major harbour centres in Ireland (Castletownbere and Dingle) and one smaller pier (Unionhall). In Ireland, harbour centres are managed independently, as part of the department of agriculture, food and the marine. Piers are smaller in size and are managed by the local county council, i.e. in this project Cork County Council.
The regional workshop in Cork County, Ireland took place on 23-24 October 2014. The first day took place in Clonakilty in the offices of the Irish Sea Fisheries Board. On the second day, the meeting continued in the fishing harbour of Castletownbere. The workshop gathered representatives of the the national department of environment (MSFD coordinator) and the national fisheries department (BIM), the Cork County Council, the harbour masters of Castletownbere, Dingle and Unionhall, the Marine Institute and a representative of fishermen and aquaculture farmers. Workshop participants

 Harbour visit

The workshop also included a visit of the fishing pier of Unionhall and the harbour of Castletownbere.

Read the workshop report


Logo BIM

About the Irish Sea Fisheries Board (Bord Iascaigh Mhara)  

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) is the Irish State agency responsible for developing the Irish seafood industry. BIM helps to develop the Irish Seafood Industry by providing technical expertise, business support, funding, training and promoting responsible environmental practice. BIM assists fishermen in implementing an Environment Management System onboard their vessel. As part of the EMS, fishermen have to demonstrate responsible waste management  practices such as the dispose of old nets and fishing gear. The EMS system is a stepping stone to various forms of certification, such as MSC, The BIM Stewardship Scheme, which is a product certification, or the label Responsible Irish Fish. 

Workshop report Ireland