DOWN Councillor Cadogan Enright has expressed his concern at the state of the coast around Ardglass, which has become polluted by thousands of rubber gloves and dozens of fish boxes used by fishermen in the harbour.
Cllr Enright said, “Fishing is a vital part of our local economy in Down District and elected representatives need to be doing everything they can to support it.”
“However I was invited to walk the Ardglass coastal area by local residents living along the Lecale coast and I was dismayed to find hundreds of fishermen’s gloves littered along the beach and amongst the rocks. Along the whole coast these could amount to thousands. It is clear that these gloves are being thrown overboard when they have been used showing complete disregard for the environment and our seas.”
“Tourism plays an important role in the local economy as well – so routinely using our seas and shores as a bin will not help us attract visitors.”
Councillor Enright said “In a one hundred meter stretch of beach I counted over 300 gloves and 28 fishing boxes. I have written to the Harbour Master, the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority and also to the Anglo North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) to express my concerns in the hope that this practice of littering the sea will stop.”
“The Anglo North Irish Fish Producers Organisation claims on their website that ANIFPO members are committed to the protection of the environment they work in and so this practice of littering the shore and sea needs to be addressed as part of their commitment.”
As well as rubber gloves and fish boxes Cllr Enright also witnessed thousands of plastic bottles and other items of litter the whole way along the coast.
Cllr Enright continued, “It is the ocean that creates most of the oxygen we breathe, it feeds us, holds vast biodiversity, regulates our climate and cleans the water we drink and so it is vitally important we ensure that our ocean is protected and conserved for future generations.”
“I therefore urge all fishermen to please refrain from dumping their rubber gloves or other materials overboard and to keep our coast and seas clean,” concluded Cllr Enright.