12 December, 2008
GROUNDBREAKING Fishing for Litter campaign initiated by Shetland-based
environmental organisation KIMO three years ago has been given the seal of
approval by the Scottish government.
This week environment secretary Richard Lochhead launched another three year
Fishing for Litter project.
So far 110 Scottish fishing boats operating out of 15 harbours, including
Lerwick, have trawled 117 tonnes of litter from the seabed through the scheme.
KIMO say the scheme helps both the environment and the fishing industry by
cleaning up potential threats to both wildlife and fishing gear.
However they point out their success is a drop in the ocean compared to the
20,000 tonnes of rubbish dumped each year in the North Sea alone, 70 per cent of
which ends up on the seabed, the rest divided between the surface and shoreline.
is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed by
discarded plastic, many having consumed large quantities mistaking it for food.
Fishing boats can suffer damage worth up to £30,000 through contamination of
catches, broken gear and fouled propellers.
Mr Lochhead said: “As the Scottish government prepares to launch its landmark
Marine Bill next year, it is absolutely vital that we have cleaner, greener
seas. Fishing for Litter is an imaginative yet simple initiative, successfully
reducing marine litter with the involvement of the fishing industry. I am very
pleased that the Scottish government has been able to support the project. I
wish it every success for the future.”