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New Hub paper on fishing plastic waste

Plastics entering the marine environment primarily originate from land-based sources, prompting significant attention on single-use plastic packaging. However, fishing plastic waste also contributes substantially to marine plastic pollution, though it is often overlooked in the literature due to the challenges in pinpointing pollution sources. This study addresses this key knowledge gap by synthesizing existing literature to explore and document the knowns and known unknowns surrounding fishing plastic waste's environmental, health, and socio-economic impacts. Through the development of a causal loop diagram, the study offers a preliminary understanding of the issue, serving as a foundation for a deeper exploration of the complexities within the fishing industry's plastic waste dynamics. Finally, the study highlights that short-sighted views and approaches are likely to lead to systemic failures. Therefore, it advocates for strategic and meaningful measures to tackle marine plastic pollution, emphasizing the critical importance of a holistic and integrated understanding of the various plastic waste streams infiltrating and polluting our oceans.

Paper available here.

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