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Undersecretary Adela Martínez-Cacha explains the details on the initiative on cleaning marine funds. (Photo: carm.es)

Fishermen to help clean Murcia’s seabed

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 22:40 (GMT + 9)

Through an agreement with local fishermen, the Government of the Region of Murcia will launch a seabed cleanup project as part of the actions taken by the regional government "to help preserve and protect" the coast of Murcia.

The Undersecretary of Water, Agriculture and Environment, Adela Martinez-Cacha, explained that the agreement, signed with the Federation of Fishermen of the Region of Murcia, contemplates tasks intended to collect waste from coastline seabeds using trawlers with base-port in the region.

Fishermen from Murcia will carry out waste collection (plastic, glass, paper, rubber, textiles and derivatives as well as fishing waste) and will place it in containers located in different port areas.

The agreement has been allocated EUR 50,000, cofinanced with the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) for 75 per cent of the total amount and the remaining 25 per cent will be financed with funds from the Community. A maximum contribution of EUR 500 per will be set per crew member and EUR 2,000 per trawler.

Moreover, the Undersecretary of Water, Agriculture and Environment is also considering the possibility of including fishermen smaller-scale gear to help in seabed cleaning.

The head of Water, Agriculture and Environment stressed that the work should not only be done from the agents acting directly on the seas, "but there must be a social awareness" and she called for the whole society to collaborate "in order to stop large quantities of waste from being dumped into our seas".

The region pioneered this initiative through collaborative work with coastal municipalities in 1996 and now, for the first time, this initiative has been included in the National Operational Programme of the FEMP, reflected in the European regulation governing it.

The FEMP is primarily aimed at improving the competitiveness of fisheries and aquaculture in line with sustainability, promoting cohesion and territorial development and favouring the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy as well as the development of the marketer network and fishery product processors. The Integrated Maritime Policy and Blue Growth are other performance areas to be developed over the years.

With the implementation of the FEMP, the Undersecretariat will be able to, among other actions, set measures intended to implement the environmental protection of marine ecosystems and increasing the competitiveness of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Within this program more than EUR 40 million has been planned in investments in the region until 2023, financed by the EU, the Ministry, the Community and private participation.

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