As part of our work with local fishermen, the Stellwagen Sweep program was formed in 2008 to locate, remove and recycle abandoned fishing debris in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Each year, many tons of fishing gear are lost at sea. Unfortunately, debris continues to pose a serious hazard to marine life, trapping and killing fish beneath the surface and ensnaring marine mammals.
During our Sweeps, commercial fishermen and Stellwagen Alive! volunteers collect and safely dispose of this "ghost gear." Professional captains use specially prepared vessels to locate and hoist debris from feeding areas that are important to the Right Whale as well as other species.
To date, we have implemented successful Sweeps in Gloucester, Sandwich, Scituate and Provincetown, collecting over 100,000 pounds of debris!
If you know the location of derelict fishing gear, please report it and we’ll work to clean it up.
If you’re a fisherman and would like to participate in our Sweeps, just fill out our contact form and help us collect marine debris.