Feds provide free disposal for old fishing gear

Martha’s Vineyard fishermen will have the opportunity to dispose of old, unwanted, and derelict fishing gear as part of Fishing for Energy, a federal program funded through a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and private businesses.

The program is designed to provide the fishing community with a way to become more actively involved in cleaning up the environment, giving them a place to dispose of their derelict gear as well as old gear they might come across while on the water.

The collection bin will be placed at the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District, West Tisbury Road, Edgartown.The program begins February 27 and ends March 27.

There are limits on what will be accepted. Trawl netting, gillnets, cast netting, and other types of nylon, polypropylene, and monofilament nets will be accepted. All netting should be as dry as possible, not waterlogged and all organic debris, algae, seaweed, and other marine animals should be removed as much as possible, according to a press release.

Fishing gear rigging, trawl dragger cookies, cans, rollers, chain, wood and vinyl coated wire traps and pots are all acceptable for the program. Bricks that might be housed within the traps should be removed. Traps or pots not crushed to reduce volume will be crushed by the refuse district employees.

Nylon, and polypropylene line will also be accepted and should be tightly coiled, if possible. Anything outside of the list should be approved by a district employee before it is deposited into the bin.

The drop-off is open from 8 am to 3:30 pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and 8 am to 2 pm, Sundays. The Refuse District is closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Call Lynne Fraker at 508-627-0848 for more information.