The meeting was attended by representatives from Love your Lough, Ulster Wildlife, Coastwatch, Warrenpoint Harbour, DAERA, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Deli Lites, Omeath and Louth Tidy Towns Together, Mourne Heritage Trust, councillors from Newry Mourne and Down District Council, and Carlingford Lough community residents. Karen Dubsky from Coastwatch presented recommendations on reducing marine litter, following analysis of the 2016 survey results (which are available here http://coastwatch.org/europe/).
Carlingford Coast is Clear(er).... thanks to Marine Litter Action Plan!
Dave Wall of Ulster Widlife presented a summary of the problems caused by marine litter. Marine litter is becoming an increasing problem globally, with the most pervasive issue that of man-made plastics, which persist in the marine environment for tens to hundreds of years. Love your Lough volunteers cleared hundreds of bags of rubbish off the Carlingford Lough shoreline over the past year, and noted that plastic bottles and fishing related litter, namely blue gloves, were among the highest numbers of individual pieces of litter cleared from the shore.
The afternoon culminated in a group discussion on the priority actions required to tackle the issue of marine litter. While there is no fix-all solution, there were positive conclusions drawn from the meeting, with a number of practical and attainable suggestions for litter prevention, litter reduction and legal enforcement to form a focus for future efforts.
A big thank you to Love your Lough for organising the venue and refreshments, and to all those who attended on the day.