PREVENTING MARINE DEBRIS IN THE PACIFIC

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (Nov. 11, 1999 – Pacific Islands Fishery News)---Marine debris generated from fishing vessels in the western and central Pacific has become an issue of great concern.

To address this problem, an international workshop – Derelict Fishing Gear, Vessels and Operational Waste: Sources, Impacts, Mitigation and Prevention – will be held June 26-30, 2000 in Honolulu.

National and international policy-makers, scientists and fishing industry representatives will evaluate the sources and ecological impacts of derelict fishing gear. They will also examine political initiatives and mitigation efforts to deal with the problem, including marine debris removal, source identification and enforcement, among others.

In preparation for the workshop, the Western and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils will hold a meeting with members of the fishing industry during the Seattle Fish Expo, Saturday, November 20.

"The active participation of the fishing industry is critical to developing sound and reasonable solution to the problem in the Pacific," says Mark Minton, the Western Pacific Council’s essential fish habitat specialist.

For more information on the workshop or the Seattle meeting, contact Minton at TEL: (808) 522-8220. Information on the workshop can also be found on the Web at http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/seagrant/marinedebris.html.

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