Fishermen, Processors Enlisted to Clean Marine Debris

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Maggie Wall/KMXT

An innovative clean-up program hopes to corral 10,000 pounds of marine debris off fishing beaches this summer. The collaboration of setnet fishermen, several local processors, and Kodiak’s Island Trails Network plans to hit the beaches near fishing sites and have the debris hauled back to town by salmon tenders.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall has more.

(Setnet Clean-Up 2:43 "The Pilot Setnet…Andy Schroeder. SOC.")

The Pilot Setnet Beach Clean-up is unique for a number of reasons, but Island Trails Executive Director Andy Schroeder offers two-it’s all summer long, and it’s money in the fishermen’s pockets:

(Setnet 1 :36 "What we do…any other commodity.")

The Island Trails Network-ITN for short-works with volunteers to build and maintain trails around Kodiak Island. It also has a reputation for collecting a lot of trash-in fact, Schroeder says ITN has collected about 50,000 pounds of marine debris since 2008. He says he expects this year to be no exception:

(Setnet 2 :44 "I estimate we’ll pick up…to make a lot of sense.")

Funding for this summer’s setnet clean-up program comes from the Marine Conservation Alliance, a Juneau-based coalition of fish harvesters, processors and others, which is active in sustainability issues.

Schroeder was in Hawaii this past spring presenting a paper on the clean-up program at an international conference on marine debris. He says picking up the trash is just a first step and he hopes to see Kodiak head more in the direction of Hawaii:

(Setnet 3 :40 "And it does…in the world, too.")

The Island Trails Network’s Andy Schroeder.

I’m Maggie Wall.

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