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Prison service make fishing gear recyclable

13 December 2023

Over 14 tonnes of rope, 68 fishing pots, and 2,000 metres of netting have been sorted for recycling by the Jersey Prison Service.

As part of a pilot scheme throughout 2023, Jersey Prison Service has been separating the mixed materials used in fishing gear so that most of it can be recycled or reused for the first time.

This project works as a collaboration between Marine Resources, Ports of Jersey, Solid Waste, Jersey Fishermen’s Association, and the Jersey Prison Service. Fishers are now able to leave their unwanted fishing pots and nets at a drop-off zone at La Collette, which is then sent to La Moye Prison for sorting. Until now, gear would have been thrown away as waste, due to mixed materials not being recyclable or, in some cases, being left around the harbour.

Marine Science and Research Officer, Alex Plaster, said: “The prison service have been doing a fantastic job with this project, their dedication to it has been incredible. Without them, none of this would be possible.

“We are working to a point where we will have enough recyclable material, such as nylon, which can then be exported to the UK for recycling. This is the first time we’ve been able to do something like this. There have always been issues in the past where fishers did not have anywhere suitable to get rid of their old fishing gear. Often the labour involved in separating these materials was too time consuming but now we have a solution.”

Marine Operations Superintendent, Joe Lewis, said: “We are very pleased at Ports of Jersey to be collaborating with Jersey fishers, Government, and the Prison Service, to provide a drop-off zone where fishers can leave their end-of-life gear.

“The materials are taken to La Moye to be dismantled, then recycled, reused, or incinerated. The pilot project has been a success for all involved so far, showing that working together, we can find solutions.”

Head of Reducing Reoffending at the Jersey Prison Service, Gemma Lofthouse, said: “Prisoners at La Moye are working in collaboration with Marine Resources, Ports of Jersey, Solid Waste, Jersey Fishermen’s Association, and have got the recycling scheme up and running.

“It has gone very well, with prisoners recycling lobster pots and fishing gear that has been left. This is having a positive impact in helping to reduce end-of-life fishing gear. They have been innovative in their ways of dismantling and recycling the various elements, and working well in a team.

“The prisoners are determined to do a good job and doing their bit for the climate emergency, working at an incredible pace to get the job done.

“The hard work, dedication, and practical skills used in completing this role gives them great experience to secure a job upon release.”​​

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