The Ocean Cleanup in call for citizen scientists to aid gear dumping study

The Ocean Cleanup foundation is recruiting a new band of ‘citizen scientists’ to volunteer and help gather information on the fishing industry.

The not for profit charity are seeking people to conduct interviews with stakeholders in the industry beginning next month.

The group is leading an international project to quantify the amount of derelict fishing gear encountered in the ocean by estimating rates of annual abandonment, loss, and discarding of fishing gear (ALDFG) from main gear types used in fisheries around the world.

An advert for the roles has been posted this week.

Detailing the assignment, it says: “We are seeking volunteers to conduct interviews with stakeholders in the fisheries industry to estimate fishing gear loss rates for various fishing techniques across countries. Survey forms and guidelines will be distributed to participants.

“Information will be collected on the weight, number, and dimensions of each individual gear component that is lost, abandoned, or discarded per unit of catch.

“Following initial training, participants will be tasked to conduct a minimum of 10 surveys. Surveys should be completed within one month after enrolment.

“Given the current situation with COVID-19, the surveys should be phone or email interviews at first with the aim of pursuing on-site interviews when permitted and safe. ”

Those taking part must be a minimum of 18 years old, ideally live near a sea port and have an “Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal”.

Full details of the role, and how to apply, can be found at The Ocean cleanup website.

The Ocean Cleanup was founded by then 18-year-old Dutch inventor Boyan Slat in 2013.  It now consists of around 90 engineers, researchers, scientists and others working to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

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