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Fishing for litter launch

A new phase of the Fishing for Litter scheme, sponsored by Seagreen, was launched at the Isle of Whithorn on Friday 27 May 2011 and was well supported by fishermen, members of the community and related organisations.

Aileen McLeod, the newly elected SNP South of Scotland list MSP, came along to lend her encouragement to the expansion of this innovative international initiative.

Fishing for Litter is an international scheme involving provision of dedicated disposal facilities at a network of harbours in Scotland and northern Europe.  Commercial fishermen are provided with large bags so that any litter hauled in with the catch can be stored until it is landed.

The scheme is led by KIMO, an organisation that tackles marine pollution by working with around 150 European local authorities.  KIMO also contributes to marine litter policy development and carries out research on the impacts of litter on the marine environment.

Tom Piper, KIMO UK Co-ordinator, commented: “Marine litter can have devastating effects on wildlife, costs the fishing industry money in downtime when gear becomes entangled, and often ends up on beaches where it detracts from scenic coastlines. The vast majority of litter is plastic which never biodegrades; it simply breaks down into small pieces which pollute the marine environment for ever more. This launch marks a new phase of the Fishing for Litter project in Scotland.”

The Fishing For Litter scheme is sponsored by Seagreen Wind Energy and other partners including SNH, The Crown Estate, The Scottish Government, Aberdeenshire Council, the Highland Council, Total E&P UK Ltd and the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation. The project also benefits from the time given to the project by the staff at all the participating harbours.

Aileen McLeod MSP, Councillor Alistair Geddes (Dumfries and Galloway Council), local fishermen, members of the community and supporting organisations attending the launch.

Image taken by Peter Foster.

For more information on Fishing for Litter please visit


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