Seventy tonnes of fishing gear from Shetland’s pelagic fleet have been donated to the Oor Bairns Charitable Trust, which takes them apart for recycling and uses the proceeds to help support several projects from Africa to the UK.
Retired Fraserburgh skipper Willie Whyte cleans the nylon nets and removes other materials such polypropylene and metal components before shipping. Metal goes to scrap and the polypropylene ropes are sold to small fishing vessels for mooring ropes.
‘The local fleet has a reputation for support a range of different good causes, local, national and international, and are delighted once again to have been able to support Willie and his amazing work,’ said Sheila Keith of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association.
The money generated is used by Willie Whyte’s Oor Bairns Charitable Trust to support a range of projects, most recently the provision of three ultrasound scanners, courtesy of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, to the Nakasangola community in Uganda.
This follows the earlier provision of two scanners, the funding of two sonographers from Raigmore to travel to Uganda to train medical staff in their use and the building of a school and a scan suite.
‘The Authority is pleased to support the environmental efforts to recycle and reuse redundant fishing nets which gives new life to equipment that would otherwise require to be disposed of,’ said Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Calum Grains.
‘The Whyte family are to be commended on this initiative which supports ‘Oor Bairns’, a charity providing services to young people.’
This latest consignment from Shetland was picked up by Willie Whyte’s son Will, skipper of the Grateful, while in Shetland for work to be done on the vessel.
The Shetland fleet has supported the Oor Bairns Charitable Trust and its initiatives for many years.
‘The Shetland skippers have a long history of giving us their old nets, so many thanks to them again for their support,’ said Will Whyte.
‘Oor Bairns has been going for over twenty years and has been able to support hundreds of projects and has had the ability to improve the lives of many children. The support that the charity is giving to Uganda has made a big difference to the community there.’