‘Fishing for Energy’ Program Expands

The newest catch in the “Fishing for Energy” program is floating lobster trap line used in commercial lobster fisheries in Long Island, NY. The program, a public-private partnership, continues to work with coastal communities to reduce the amount of abandoned fishing gear that ends up in the nation’s oceans and turns it into renewable energy.

The “Fishing for Energy” partnership program includes Covanta Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and participating coastal communities.

As a first step in rolling out the program in New York “Fishing for Energy” partners held a gear exchange with fishermen to collect floating line (typically used with lobster traps) that is being phased out of use. In one day, New York lobstermen turned in nearly 8 tons of rope which was collected and, with assistance from the Town of Brookhaven, brought to Covanta’s Hempstead facility where it will be used to generate energy. The program is an extension of the successful “Fishing for Energy” program that began in Massachusetts earlier this month.

“Working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, NOAA, and NFWF, we can help local fishermen, protect marine animals, and provide communities with cleaner, safer waters by recovering unneeded and abandoned fishing equipment from our oceans and converting it into clean, renewable energy,” said Derek Porter, VP of external affairs for Covanta Energy. “Expanding the program to New York allows us to cast an even wider net and protect even more species from the dangers of marine debris.”

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