One word: "plastics"

With apologies to Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate” I can’t wait to hear the fish stories that will be told to the EU trying to scam money from this latest idea:


Anyone want to place bets now on how quickly we’ll see abuse of this?

The new trend in fishing: raiding garbage cans at night. h/t to WUWT reader AnonyMoose

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Tom in Florida
May 5, 2011 8:56 am

You’re right, there’s something fishy about this.

May 5, 2011 8:57 am

In either a free or black market, you alway get more of something when you raise the price.
“Stocking the Pond” will become “Dumping at sea.”

May 5, 2011 8:59 am

Reminds me of a segment of a Terry Pratchett book – residents were paid to catch rats & given their money on production of rat tails. The rat population didn’t seem to be reducing at all but large amounts of cash was changing hands. On application to the Patrician of the city regarding this problem he said ‘tax the rat farms’.

James Sexton
May 5, 2011 8:59 am

I’m already working on a plan! How much per ton is plastic worth to any fisherman?

May 5, 2011 9:09 am

And people wonder how Greece went broke.

Douglas DC
May 5, 2011 9:09 am

OH give me a break. Better not let Jane Lubecenko of NOAA hear about this…

P Walker
May 5, 2011 9:10 am

Exactly how is this supposed to work ?

May 5, 2011 9:14 am

With apologies to “Ghost” I can only say: “Ditto” . . . and Ms. Browning . . . How do I scam thee . . . “Let me count the ways”!!!
And maybe they should apologize to Rosanna Rosanna Danna . . . and say: “Never-mind”!!
So many fish just thrown away . . . they used to make and still do make fish fertilizer!

Jason F
May 5, 2011 9:17 am

So they are going to catch garbage and fish wonder how hygienic that is, although in Scotland we eat battered deep fried mars bars so they might have a Market, eh, yum!

May 5, 2011 9:21 am

P Walker says: “Exactly how is this supposed to work ?”
(1) Fishing boats rendezvous at sea, meeting a container ship full of plastic headed for recycling in third world countries. (2) They send up a few dollars, and the crew opens the doors of several containers, dumping the contents directly onto the boats. (3) The boats take the plastic back to port and get paid. (4) The authorities give the plastic to recyclers. (5) Recyclers put the plastic into containers that are loaded onto ships. (6) Repeat until sanity is restored.

Hank Hancock
May 5, 2011 9:21 am

I can’t imagine how this is supposed to work. They would have to pay a very high price for the plastic to cover a ship’s operating costs. The ships would require special processing equipment as the majority of the plastics in the different gyres are small plastic particles suspended near the surface. The boats would need to suction and filter enormous amounts of sea water for a small amount of plastic. Adding to the cost, most of the gyres are further from port than traditional fishing grounds.

May 5, 2011 9:22 am

Here’s how it works (first draft):
1) Plastic bags are separated from trash in Beijing by the impoverished workers of a socialist super state and flown to Europe
2) The recycled bags are sold to fishermen
3) Fishermen dunk bales of these bags in the ocean close to the harbor
4) Fishermen collect their EU payments
5) European bureaucrats hand the slightly moist plastic bags to green recyclers
6) … who ship them to fishermen in Europe via Albania
7) Taxes are increased in Europe
PS. Has anyone seen a photograph of the ‘trash island the size of Texas’ in the Pacific yet?

May 5, 2011 9:23 am

Well if any contributors are interested in forming a fishing company with me, let’s call it, say, Clear up redundant plastics or CRAP for short I would like to hear from them. Some of the donkey work involved includes raiding the neighbours recycling bins and stashing them into a transit van destined for Felixstow. I could hire a boat for the day and hey presto we’ve got a reasonably lucrative catch. And it saves the planet, which is nice.

May 5, 2011 9:26 am

Oops. Forgot the /sarc. Sorry.

May 5, 2011 9:27 am

Does this remind anyone of the photovoltaic plants in Spain using spotlights to generate electricity?

Pat Moffitt
May 5, 2011 9:30 am

Stephen Rasey says “Stocking the Pond” will become “Dumping at sea.”
You couldn’t be more correct -early private fire companies were paid by the fire—- guess what happened.
Additionally, the reason we have more boats than fish is every nation subsidizes its fishing industry- the above is just another subsidy that will exacerbate the problem- and ultimately result in another subsidy.

May 5, 2011 9:37 am

Bob Dylan eerily foresaw this nutjobbery four decades ago:
The beauty parlour’s filled with sailors/
The circus is in town/
Here comes the blind Commissioner/
They’ve got him in a trance/
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker/
The other’s in his pants/

May 5, 2011 9:38 am

How many April 1st’s can there be in one year??

May 5, 2011 9:39 am

I can’t imagine that fisherman could subsist on a normal catch of plastic so they would probably have to pay a premium for “caught plastic” and this is where the scamming starts in earnest.

John F. Hultquist
May 5, 2011 9:44 am

The move is intended as a sweetener to fishermen who have bitterly opposed the European commission’s plans to ban the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea.
Well, they have recognized a problem. Good Start!
“Bold new plan”: Bad idea
Does anyone have a good idea for the solution to the problem?

May 5, 2011 9:54 am

People made money on the green economics nonsense by shining lights on their solar panels at night to profit from the price differential between the cost of electricity and the generous government subsidies from feed-in tarriffs. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that some enterprising Greek fishermen (love the hats) will make deals with trash collectors to obtain the plastic from the garbage they collect and then stealthily deliver it to a predetermined location so that later they can fish there to make it look like they caught the plastic from the sea.
P.S. Now we will soon all be able to proudly display on our walls at home, the 2 liter bottle we battled in the Mediterranean Sea on our last fishing trip in Greece.

May 5, 2011 9:59 am

I guess they’re planning to fish that giant floating island of plastic. Surely you’ve heard of it! It’s floating in Pacific Ocean and is at least the size of Texas. Despite that, no one has ever seen this island, but many are convinced it’s out there! ;->

May 5, 2011 10:02 am

The law of unintended consequences always comes to mind whenever the EU dreams up another scheme involving taxpayers handing subsidies over.

May 5, 2011 10:05 am

Raiding measly garbage cans? I don’t think so. This scheme will involve thousands of vessels, and hundreds of thousands of tonnes of “marine plastics” over huge “fishing” grounds. And, after all, this is Europe, so my bet is that months, if not years before the scheme was announced to the public, cronies and families of clever bureaucrats secured supply sources and delivery routes of this new polypropylene contraband. Soon enough, China will jump in by manufacturing sophisticated garbage “knock-offs,” because it’s cheaper to manufacture than to collect…as is the case in the real world.
Of course, such chilling crimes against The Environment will require a lots of policing, with new agencies and even cash-strapped EU navies. And, all the fish that’s being ignored will wind up in the bellies of unscrupulous factory ships anyway.

May 5, 2011 10:19 am

No wonder there’s so few good parodies in comedy these days, they’ve been shifted to the ‘news’ segment.

Dave in Canmore
May 5, 2011 10:25 am

re: Sundance’s fishing trip to Greece…
I once caught a lovely 2 L plastic bottle…well actually, it got away…

May 5, 2011 10:30 am

Oh FFS! – are these people deranged?
Do they know how much it costs in fuel alone to send a trawler to sea? Do you think any fisherman is gonna agree to this? They want fisherment to actually work to catch plastic? Mad, madder and maddest…………
and this on top of paying for wind trubines NOT to generate electricity……..

P Walker
May 5, 2011 10:30 am

Jorgekafkazar – Thanks , it all makes sense now . BTW , sarc noted but not necessary .

May 5, 2011 10:35 am

jorgekafkazar says:
May 5, 2011 at 9:21 am
reminds me of the clever scam on the Eire/Northen Ireland border some years ago (could still be going for all I know!). The EU paid a subsidy for every sheep transported across the border – so some wise guys dug a tunnel and a few hunderd sheep were in permanent circulation! (or something like that) – with lots of wonga all round being used to support the various paramilitaries, etc…….

May 5, 2011 10:38 am

Notice that the article doesn’t mention anyone having actually trying to fish for plastic, what kind of equipment is needed, nor how much plastic is available to be caught. Maybe someone has a computer model, but not even that has been mentioned.
For that matter, they’re concerned about dead fish in the water, but there’s no mention of whether there are crab fishermen nor how they’d be affected by less feeding of the crabs. Also no mention of how the amount of dead fish due to fishing compares to the natural amount of dead fish.

May 5, 2011 10:46 am

I’m ready to scam it right now – walk around Chico, there’s plastic gold blowing down the streets, hanging in the hedgerows, skittering up the alleyways. I can just see myself wandering the neighborhood with my pokey stick, gathering my retirement funds. I live in the Gold Mine – right behind Safeway and Mickey D’s!
Anthony, you always get me with those catch lines from my favorite movies! Coo-coo-ka-choo!

David A. Evans.
May 5, 2011 10:47 am

You may have thought it needed a /sarc tag, personally, I think that’s how it’ll work! 😉

David A. Evans.
May 5, 2011 10:49 am
Mmm. The [a] bit didn’t work. Usually does.

Martin Brumby
May 5, 2011 10:52 am

F. Hultquist says: May 5, 2011 at 9:44 am
“The move is intended as a sweetener to fishermen who have bitterly opposed the European commission’s plans to ban the wasteful practice of discarding edible fish at sea.”
“Well, they have recognized a problem. Good Start!
“Bold new plan”: Bad idea
“Does anyone have a good idea for the solution to the problem?”
Certainly. Send the incompetent, unelected and unaccountable EU Commissioners to sleep with the fishes!

May 5, 2011 10:58 am

Double pay for plastic fish?

Julian Flood
May 5, 2011 11:14 am

This reminds me of the waste disposal systems in use in the UK. I have heard — not seen it in practice — that after we sort our rubbish into our colour-coded dustbins the recycleable waste is baled and exported to China where the actual recycling takes place. I have also heard that the price of waste is so low that this is no longer profitable, but the contracts are let so the shippers have no choice but to take the stuff.
Now, call me a cynic… Let’s say you have a contract for recycling waste which you are transporting across the Pacific, you will have to pay for disposal at the destination but there’s a lot of water around you. What’s a thrusting entrepreneur to do? The UK meets its EU obligation, no-one sees the splash, who’s to know? Everyone gains. Except turtles and seabirds, and who cares about them….
Incidentally, there was some discussion about plastic bags and how they use only a tiny bit of plastic. That’s true, but because they are so light they spread around in every breeze. Disposing of them really is difficult. Maybe they should have a deposit of about ten p a time — they’d end up back at Tesco’s PDQ.

Brian H
May 5, 2011 11:17 am

Your apology to Dustin H. is misdirected. The “word” was given TO him by his future father-in-law advising him on a career path.
REPLY: Thanks for whining, whatever. People wouldn’t get it if I named the other actor. -A

Kelvin Vaughan
May 5, 2011 11:19 am

Of course that’s the answer to global warming. All the plastic in the oceans is insulating the sea making it warm up.

May 5, 2011 11:27 am

Imbeciles. I am sorry, I have no better word than that. They are pure, 100%, unadulterated, imbeciles.

May 5, 2011 12:06 pm

This rubbish [no pun intended] will be abused to the hilt. This is just another green plan that the Mafia will get involved in – again.

Gary Swift
May 5, 2011 12:07 pm

This will take care of itself as soon as the dolphin protection people hear about it.
“oh man, my trash nets keep getting fouled with these stupid tuna. I’m not having any luck today at all”
I think they need an environmental impact study to look at the oil and other pollutants that leak from fishing boats too. lol.

Ken Harvey
May 5, 2011 12:16 pm

If Johnathon Swift were alive today, he wouldn’t be able to make a living writing parodies. Lampoonery? We are drowning in it.

Darkinbad the Brightdayler
May 5, 2011 12:17 pm

Just when you think you’ve heard it all a new madness emerges.
I’ve sailed in and out of Fiskardo in the Ionian many times.
The islands are steep to the sea, Homer’s wine-dark sea.
The water is clear due to lack of nutrient so you can see down a long way.
The roads on the islands are local, all supplies come in and out by daily ferry.
There is very little flotsam on the beaches and the chances of finding much in the way of floating plastic is low.
There isn’t much in the way of tides or currents at this eastern edge of the Med.
Its a beautiful place Kefalonia and just across the channel from Ithaca but floating plastics?
But given the perilous state of the economy, an invitation to abuse.

May 5, 2011 12:18 pm

This is EU’s way of trying to pacify the recent “onslaught” of retired communist terrorists. Apparently there’s a lot of them in Greece, and apparently it could have had something to do with Greeks, being prone to communism, retiring at 45. :p
Ironic as it has become, EU, especially UK, spent billions on hunting international islamic terrorist, when the stats says the majority of the terrorist crimes in EU was committed by communists and other militant socialist groups. It’s ironic because it is a serious crime/offense in EU to discriminate. :p

Vindsavfuktare krypgrund
May 5, 2011 12:19 pm

The reason that fisherman throw perfectly good fish overboard is because of unintended consequences from current regulations. How about admitting failure and removing the legislation that’s not wlorking? Oh, this is the EU and any failed regulation is complemented with two more that works neither.

Mike Spilligan
May 5, 2011 12:55 pm

Fishing subsidies have been around for a long time. Adam Smith (1723 – 1790) pointed out that the Scottish industry wasn’t about fishing for fish, but fishing for subsidies.
What no one’s siad so far is that EU Commissioners aren’t appointed to solve problems but to create new ones. In fact they breed problems in Brussels, even encouraging interbreeding between different species.

May 5, 2011 1:20 pm

pat says:
May 5, 2011 at 9:27 am
Does this remind anyone of the photovoltaic plants in Spain using spotlights to generate electricity?

That was my first thought. What is to stop these fishermen from collecting a bunch of plastic bags, dump them in the ocean, and then turn them in to make money? Seriously, do these unelected bureaucrats do any forward thinking at all?

May 5, 2011 1:26 pm

No one yet has asked the all important question –
If these fishers of plastic exceed their quotas, will they have to throw it all back overboard again?
We need to know this, in order to develop a profitable business plan.

May 5, 2011 1:28 pm

Jesus Christ: I will make you fishers of men.
EU: I will make you fishers of rubbish.

R. de Haan
May 5, 2011 1:29 pm

IMF, ECB and EU certify that energy sustainability = fiscal non sustainability

R. de Haan
May 5, 2011 1:30 pm

Just like fishing for plastics

Barry Sheridan
May 5, 2011 1:38 pm

EU idiots at their best. The same fools whose policies are responsible for about half of all fish caught in North Sea waters being dumped back into the sea dead because they are the wrong sort of fish. It seems inescapable to me that governments throughout the world have a preponderance of people whose grip on what is real departs the moment they take office. The few who are not so afflicted make little headway against this tide.

Laurie Bowen
May 5, 2011 1:43 pm

@ Steeptown who said:
May 5, 2011 at 10:02 am
The law of unintended consequences always comes to mind whenever the EU dreams up another scheme involving taxpayers handing subsidies over. . . . .
In Alaska they hand their monies straight over to the citizens . . . it is apportioned . . .
Alaska Royalty payments?? . . . I think that’s what they are called . . .
But, even this has it’s hazards . . . . as you can guess is the same with well fair!

Steve from Rockwood
May 5, 2011 1:46 pm

You know the government is collecting too much tax when…

Bob Diaz
May 5, 2011 1:50 pm

Well the winners will be the fishermen and the losers will be the taxpayers.
I see a future with lots of fraud….

May 5, 2011 1:56 pm

Hopefully, there will someday be a spin-off of Deadliest Catch to help tell the tale of these future dedicated plastermen…
Voiceover, Mike Rowe: “Captain Sig returns to his pots after another 18-hour soak, hoping this time he’s landed on plastic gold…”
Sig: *smokes a cigarette, says something bitter about his brother’s complaining*
-cut to deck to watch first haul-
Mike Rowe: “The crew’s hopes…are quickly recycled back into disappointment…”
Deckhand: “No good, Sig! No good! These are all female bags and young bottles…too small to keep!”
Sig: “Dump ’em back…we’ll be back for ’em next year when they’ve grown!”
I’m not sure how well the intro would work. Rather than Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive,” they’ll probably have to use Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing.”

May 5, 2011 2:19 pm

RE: Jason F says:
May 5, 2011 at 9:17 am
“although in Scotland we eat battered deep fried mars bars so they might have a Market, eh, yum!”
I’m an ex Edinbugher/ite. When I lived there, there was one of those “we fry anything” places on A91/Queensferry Rd, near Davidson’s Mains. I shed a tear or two when on a recent visit, I discovered it had been replaced by yet another “fast food curry” place. Not that I mind a curry (and an 80 shilling ale), but still, tears were certainly shed! I digress …
I wonder how fried fishing float fragments taste? Mmmmmmm!

May 5, 2011 2:21 pm

Side note, if I am not mistaken Fiona Harvey used to do the Financial Times’ “green” articles. Maybe she was too far around the bend for even the Times – and that is saying a lot, being that they are big cheerleaders for CO2 “credit” trading for obvious reasons.

David Schofield
May 5, 2011 2:40 pm

I remember a ‘blue planet’ David Attenborough documentary where they spotted a clump of old rope/plastic and other flotsam [or jetsam?] in the middle of the Pacific – about the size of a family car. The camera went underneath and showed the most amazing collection of small creatures living there under it’s protection. Whole shoals of fry. Great habitat.

May 5, 2011 2:45 pm

Bowen says: 9:14 a—————
It was Emily Litella who said “never mind.” Roseanne Roseannadana did not routinely say this.

Charles Higley
May 5, 2011 3:07 pm

And now the fishermen will be encouraging their friends to throw over more plastic. Want to bet their lunches start going over the side.
What’s that parable about hiring a gameskeeper to catch poachers. There is no percentage in him catching all of the poachers.

Berényi Péter
May 5, 2011 3:10 pm

“If you offer a reward for something, of course you want more of it, not less. This is just the free market in action”.
see: The Legend of the Rat Farmer

Jimmy Haigh
May 5, 2011 3:20 pm

ZT says:
May 5, 2011 at 9:22 am
“PS. Has anyone seen a photograph of the ‘trash island the size of Texas’ in the Pacific yet?”
Not me. You should be able to see it on Google Earth….

Steve from Rockwood
May 5, 2011 3:27 pm

reason says:
May 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm
“The crew’s hopes…are quickly recycled back into disappointment…”
What channel is this program on again?

May 5, 2011 4:02 pm

Makes sense. They have to have some industry using all those renewable energy certificates and what better than idyllic Mediterranean fishing fleets? After all Brussells types can get a bit bored with just paintings of horses, windmills and mill streams over their mantelpieces and desire some nautical relief. With Gaia it’s all a matter of getting the balance and harmony just right.

Ian E
May 5, 2011 4:06 pm

Great idea – it will make disposal of certain types of waste much cheaper. Now, how about payment for dredging up builders rubble? That should help keep the fishing fleets even busier!

May 5, 2011 4:23 pm

I once did a Google search for pictures of the “garbage patch”, said to be floating around in the Pacific Ocean, and found no pictures.
Is it so bad, the pictures can’t be released?
Or did I not try hard enough?

May 5, 2011 4:32 pm

They should make a documentary about this and call it:
“Krill Bill”

May 5, 2011 4:58 pm

Are there Wal-Marts in the UK? Because if there are, contact me, I have plenty of plastic Wal-Mart bags. Price is negotiable, hard currency only.

Pamela Gray
May 5, 2011 6:44 pm

Take home garbage out to sea, dump home garbage, catch home garbage, return to port, get paid, repeat.

Jeff Alberts
May 5, 2011 9:26 pm

Bob says:
May 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Bowen says: 9:14 a—————
It was Emily Litella who said “never mind.” Roseanne Roseannadana did not routinely say this.

True. Roseanne’s line was “It just goes ta show ya, it’s always something”, kinda fits here.

May 6, 2011 12:14 am

Twenty years ago, I heard the Greens making an issue of ‘plastic pollution’. They proclaimed ‘plastic bags will not break down in a thousand years’. Since there are no thousand year-old plastic bags, I wondered how they knew that.
Twenty years later, plastic bags are broken down in the oceans. They are already in sub-millimetre sizes, and coated with accumulated salts. They are settling onto the ocean floor with the other sediments, in the process that is forming the sedimentary rocks of the future.
The Greens are now proclaiming that ‘plastic bags will not break down for ‘twenty to a thousand years’.
Nobody could make a better parody of the Green movement than they do themselves.

John Marshall
May 6, 2011 2:33 am

It is the same European Commission that made dumping dead fish back to the sea if you over caught a species. This was to ‘conserve stocks’. Instead it poisoned the sea bed with rotting fish. The idea to increase net mesh size to save the young fish was not considered.
I can see many scams with this idea but then the EU is good at scams.

May 6, 2011 2:52 am

I wouldn’t laugh this is what the EU gets up to every day.

Alexander K
May 6, 2011 5:04 am

This idiocy reminds me of the Spaniard who cycled across the border into France with a string of onions hanging from his handlebars on a weekly basis for many years.
The border guards, who he had come to knw well over the years, always insepcted the cycle and the onions for contraband and never found a thing. As an old man determined to clear his conscience, he did one last border-crossing, but this time on foot.
“Okay, we know you have been smuggling something” said both sets of guards.
“What were you smuggling?”
The old smuggler looked them in the eye, smiled, and said …

amicus curiae
May 6, 2011 6:27 am

new plastic maker in EU plans 100k tonnes of goods a year…
funny they announced this today also.

May 6, 2011 11:17 am

Steve from Rockwood – “Deadliest Catch” is on Discovery Channel in the US.

May 6, 2011 12:43 pm

Why put the plastic waste in the sea in the first place? The only sensible thing is to use it as fuel. After all plastic is really nothing but oil in solid form. One ton of ordinary mixed garbage is about equal to 1.5 barrels of oil (and a lot cheaper) when burned in a power station.

May 6, 2011 10:54 pm

To see the attempted elimination of local commercial fishermen thanks to the industrial and oligarchical approach of the iron curtain of the EU….watch at least the first 20 minutes of “We Feed The World”.
One of the most important documentaries out there…and definitely worth your time.
You will be shocked. Or maybe you won’t.
But you will be angered.
As I like to say “Time to light the torches.”
Norfolk, VA, USA

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