A project to help remove harmful marine litter and raise awareness of its environmental impact is set to be expanded, thanks to close to £180,000 from the Marine Fund Scotland.
The Fishing for Litter scheme is part of an international movement to support removal of marine litter from fishing areas, and raise awareness of the damage done by marine litter with the fishing industry, local communities and school children.
The project also works to encourage improvement of waste management practices within the fishing industry.
First launched in Scotland in 2005, the scheme has grown to include 20 harbours, with more than 280 fishing vessels collecting 1844 tonnes of marine litter.
The voluntary project has set ambitious targets for the coming year of landing at least 150 tonnes of marine litter, recruiting at least another 30 member fishing vessels and adding a minimum of three participating ports.
The funding will be used to cover waste collection and disposal, staff costs and education materials.
‘Marine litter is a global challenge and we are working nationally and internationally to address it.
‘This funding demonstrates our commitment to reducing plastic pollution as part of a suite of wider measures which includes action on single-use plastic products,’ said Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon, announcing the funding at Eyemouth harbour, one of twenty Fishing for Litter ports.
‘It also acknowledges the continued success of KIMO’s Fishing for Litter project and the role of our fishing industry in helping remove debris from our seas to support environmental and economic sustainability. We are clear that climate change and biodiversity loss are the greatest long term challenges we are facing. We have prioritised actions in our Programme for Government to tackle marine litter and we are taking important steps to ensure the amount of litter entering the marine environment is minimised to bring ecological, economic and social benefits,’ she said.
‘As global leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for COP26, we will seize the opportunity to share learning, demonstrate our shared ambition and drive forward essential change through genuine global partnership.’