Scottish Fishermen Land 1000th Tonne of Marine Litter
Fishermen from around Scotland’s coast recently landed their 1000th tonne of marine litter caught in their nets during normal fishing trips.
The bumper haul – enough to fill almost three Olympic-sized swimming pools – was collected as part of the Fishing for Litter, a campaign supported by the Scottish Fisherman’s Trust and £170,000 from The Crown Estate.
Fishing for Litter was introduced into Scottish waters by KIMO UK in 2005. The campaign encourages skippers of fishing vessels to land litter they catch in their nets during their normal fishing activities.
Currently, 17 harbours are participating in the project, allowing litter to be landed at their harbour by more than 210 fishing vessels.
Marine and coastal litter is a problem that affects communities, visitors and biodiversity across the world. In Scotland, the volume caught and responsibly disposed of by fishing boat crews is testimony to their dedication and willingness to play their part in eradicating litter from our coasts and seas. If left in the sea, the litter would gradually break down into smaller pieces and have the potential to impact the marine food chain.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Marine litter is a very serious issue both for Scottish seas and across the global oceans. The Fishing for Litter project supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling the issue of marine … and I would like to congratulate KIMO on their success in reaching this significant milestone. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend those fishermen who are participating and making a real difference in cleaning up Scotland’s seas.”
The Fishing for Litter campaign is supported by The Crown Estate, The Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Fisherman’s Trust, Total, John Lewis, Tarbert Harbour, Aberdeenshire Council, Peterhead Port Authority, Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd, FLTC, Sea Green Wind Energy, Lerwick Port Authority, Scrabster Harbour, and Ullapool Harbour Trust.