Trucks will be at the Montauk docks from 7 a.m. tomorrow and again on Sept. 20 to haul away unwanted and out-of-use commercial fishing gear free of charge. A red-painted container has also been placed at the Montauk waste transfer station for the fleet’s castoff nets, gear, traps, and line. Commercial fishermen who take gear to the transfer station will not be charged for entrance or a “tipping fee,” East Hampton Town Clerk Fred Overton said.
The East Hampton program is part of a national Fishing for Energy initiative, which was announced in the spring and is backed by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Covanta Energy, which runs waste-to-electricity plants around the country, will help dispose of the derelict fishing gear with Schnitzer Steel, which produces recycled metal products, such as rebar and wire, reclaiming what it can.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 1.3 million pounds of commercial fishing gear were collected last year at program drop points. NOAA figures that one ton of discarded net can produce enough electricity to power a typical American house for 25 days.