Photo/NOAA [Martha’s] Vineyard commercial fishermen may soon be able to dispose of their fishing gear debris for free through a partnership involving a federal program, Island and off-Island businesses and the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse Disposal and Resource Recovery District.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s program Fishing For Energy aims to cut down on the illegal dumping of debris offshore. The program begins February 27.

The federal program has been around since 2008 and has been a success, including on Cape Cod.

Erin Hofmann of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation said in 5 years the program has responsibly removed 2 million pounds of debris nationwide, half of it from the Cape Cod area.

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