Fishing for Energy, a partnership of Covanta Energy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, NOAA Marine Debris Program, and Schnitzer Steel Industries, has launched its first West Coast net collection operation in the ports of Garibaldi and Newport, Oregon. Working with the ports, local communities, and fishermen, a large Fishing for Energy collection bin was placed at the port where fishermen can deposit derelict fishing nets. The full bins are then taken to Schnitzer Steel’s facility where nets are cut into small pieces. From there the material is transported to Covanta Energy’s facility near Salem where nets are mixed with household waste and combusted at high temperatures to create energy.
The success of this partnership program is highly dependent on collaboration with local communities and fishermen. In Garibaldi and Newport the program found many willing and collaborative partners. On the east coast the Fishing for Energy program has collected over 200 tons of derelict net since the program began in 2008. In Hawaii a similar partnership program, begun in 2002, has processed nearly 660 tons of net and line into energy.