Toolkit: Marine litter retention, Project participants, Port authorities

See also: Enlisting fishermen | Fishermen responsibilities | Waste management companies

The involvement of port authorities is critical to the success of your project, and the harbour masters will be key contacts in the implementation of your project. If your project includes more than one port, different arrangements may be necessary with the different port authorities, based on the arrangements for waste management in each port.

Waste management is often organised differently in different ports: waste facilities might be owned and operated by the port authority, owned by the port authority but operated by a private waste management company, or owned and operated by a private waste manager. These arrangements can have a significant impact on waste reception and storage and should be discussed with the harbour master of each port authority before the start of the project. The section of this Toolkit on Litter reception provides more detailed information on waste management arrangements for marine litter.

While the provision of waste reception facilities is required under the EU Port Reception Facility Directive, you may be faced with a situation where a fishing port does not have waste handling procedures and appropriate reception facilities in place. If you come across this situation, don’t be discouraged – you may be able to reach an arrangement that can benefit both your project and the port. You could discuss with the port authority how they can support your project. The port authority could, for example, provide space and containers for storing marine litter, arrange for the transport and treatment of marine litter together with other waste brought by ships or produced at the port, or distribute the big bags to participating fishermen. The port could benefit from this involvement through improved waste management procedures and facilities in their port, potentially enabling them to come into compliance with relevant national legislation.

Often ports will be keen to participate in marine litter retention projects to emphasise their role in protecting the marine environment and to support the local community. Publicising the role of port authorities in the project as part of your project’s communications and promotional activities will help provide public recognition of the port authority’s participation and encourage the port to support the project.