Fishing for Litter News

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Lochinver Children Get Their Wish by Recruiting the 20th Fishing For Litter Harbour in Scotland

 A pre-school in Lochinver has successfully lobbied to get its local harbour to join KIMO’s Fishing For Litter project which makes this harbour the 20th in Scotland. The children made a sign and sent it to KIMO via Twitter to raise the profile of their campaign.

The sign Lochinver Early Learning Centre made which grabbed the attention of KIMO that started the recruitment process

KIMO's Fishing For Litter project works with the fishing industry to reduce marine litter and the children at Lochinver Early Learning Centre started a campaign almost two and a half years ago by asking the local harbour to join the initiative. As part of their Eco-Schools work, they completed a survey of fishing boats using Kinlochbervie, Ullapool and Lochinver harbours and found Lochinver was the only one not in the scheme.

Visits to the harbour and pressure on local Councillors seemed to falter for various reasons. Jaci Douglas, Care and Learning Alliance (CALA’s) Chief Executive sent a tweet and photo to KIMO and this has successfully reignited the process. The primary funding is coming from Tesco who had recently approached KIMO looking to fund and recruit a new Fishing For Litter harbour in Scotland.

From left to right - Faron McLellan (KIMO UK Coordinator), Helena Delgado Nordmann (Responsible Sourcing Manager, Tesco) and the staff and children from Lochinver's local pre-school and primary school including Jane Matheson (Early Years Practitioner at Lochinver Early Learning Centre)

Faron McLellanKIMO UK Coordinator said:

With Tesco expressing interest in funding and recruiting a new Fishing For Litter harbour, this just seemed like the perfect match. Thanks to Tesco, we were able to recruit Lochinver as our 20th harbour on the project in Scotland and help the local children achieve their goal. Fishing For Litter is not just about the fishermen and harbours, it also involves community and for the local children of this community to be the force behind the recruitment of Lochinver Harbour is really something special.”

The pre-school, Lochinver Early Learning Centre had this to say about their achievement:

It’s amazing!  Wishes really do come true!–The children are so aware of the damage from pollution in our sea and are thrilled to be doing their part to “help save the world!”

Jaci Douglas, CALA’s Chief Executive said:

"It's amazing the power of sharing the wishes of the children in Lochinver ELC and I am so grateful for the quick and enthusiastic response from the organisations.

Helena Delgado Nordmann giving stickers to the children at the launch event 

Tesco and KIMO UK established their partnership, supported by World Animal Protection, to bring Fishing For Litter to Lochinver Harbour through their membership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). The GGGI is a cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide. It was established by World Animal Protection in 2014, and since January 2019 has been hosted by the lead partner Ocean Conservancy.

Faron McLellan and Helena Delgado Nordmann on board the Inverdale INS 29 with crew holding their new Fishing For Litter Flag 

Helena Delgado Nordmann, Responsible Sourcing Manager, Tesco:

“As a responsible retailer and the biggest MSC retailer by volume in the UK, Tesco has a significant role to play in promoting healthy oceans and fish stocks, and preserving its resources for future generations. As part of our marine sustainability agenda, we are pleased to have joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and co-funding Fishing For Litter, collaborating to keep our oceans clean and fish stocks healthy”

Peter Kemple Hardy, campaign manager for World Animal Protection:

“We’re delighted to support this partnership between KIMO UK and Tesco to bring Fishing For Litter to Lochinver Harbour. It is a great demonstration of the role the Global Ghost Gear Initiative plays in bringing together partners from diverse sectors who are committed to tackling the threat to our oceans from marine litter. Healthy oceans are vital to the communities that rely on them and we should all play our part in protecting them.”

Posted on: 23rd June, 2019

Back row: Malcolm Bell, Jan Joris Midavaine, Ryan Metcalfe, Kevin Sutherland, Ross Sutherland, Gary Sandison, Robert Sandison, Calum Grains, Rick Nickerson Front row: Faron McLellan, Robert te Beest and Grioghair McCord

New dedicated Fishing For Litter skips have been installed at Lerwick and Scalloway harbours to mark 15 years of the highly successful project.

To raise awareness of the voluntary scheme, which is run by KIMO International and removes around 120 tonnes of marine litter, mainly plastics, from Scottish waters every year, new-look Fishing For Litter flags for participating vessels have also been unveiled.

FFL UK coordinator, Faron McLellan together with the crew of fishing vessel LK 985 “Copious” in Scalloway Harbour. New vessel flags complement the FFL ‘Big Bags’ making participation in the scheme more visible

Shetland Fishermen’s Association and the isles fishing community have been strong supporters of the project since its inception. SFA policy officer Sheila Keith said:

"Public awareness of the need to remove plastics from our seas is currently very high. 

Our fishermen embraced the Fishing For Litter scheme when it was established in 2004 and we expect that future generations of fishermen will be as keen to participate. 

Fishing boats are given large bags to collect the plastics, ghost gear and other debris that gathers in their nets during normal fishing activities. When the fishing boats come into port, they can unload the bags of litter. These bags are collected regularly and the rubbish is recycled or disposed of on land."

The crew of the LK59 ‘Arcturus’ together with representatives from Shetland Fishermen’s Association and KIMO in Lerwick harbour

Grioghair McCord of KIMO, whose secretariat is based in Shetland with the Shetland Islands Council, said:

"All the fishermen who participate in the project are volunteers. On a daily basis, they are out at sea removing rubbish from the ocean. Result? Cleaner seas, cleaner beaches and a healthier marine environment.

Over the years this project has continually proven to be a very practical and cost-effective way to reduce marine litter.

It is with great pride that KIMO reaffirms our commitment to working with the fishing industry in Shetland to create healthy, sustainable seas to the benefit of all."

Plastic bottles, pallet strapping, ropes, a rubber ball and a wellington boot. Just some of the items that are removed from the ocean by the Fishing For Litter project.

Posted on: 15th May, 2019

Fishing For Litter Scotland Shortlisted for a Scottish Rural Award 2019

Fishing for Litter was been selected as one of 11 finalists for Scottish Rural Awards 2019 'Conservation and the Environment' award. This is great recognition of the hard work that continues to be done by our fishermen, ports and harbours.  Wish us luck for March 21st when the winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Posted on: 9th February, 2019

Help Fishing for Litter get better!!

KIMO UK is working hard to improve your Fishing for Litter experience.  Tim Luck, an MSc student, is carrying out important, practical, research that will help us identify what we need to do next.  Please take a few moments to complete his questionnaire:

Fishing for Litter Survey 2017 

Posted on: 14th June, 2017

Scottish Fishermen Land 1000th Tonne of Marine Litter

Reaching the milestone was celebrated at Peterhead Port on Friday, 6th January 2017  Almost 1/3 of the litter has been landed there and Stephen Paterson, Deputy Chief Executive of Peterhead Port, welcomed a group of stakeholders (including Skipper Jimmy Buchan and George and Sandy Watt from Peterhead Port - part of the team of 250+ fishermen and port staff who are responsible for the success of the project) to Peterhead to mark the occasion.



Professor Colin Moffat - Head of Marine Science - attended on behalf of the Scottish Government and gave a fascinating insight into the damage done by marine litter and why projects like Fishing for Litter are so important. 

KIMO UK's board were out in force with Cllr George Farlow travelling from Ullapool joining Cllr Fiona McRae and our Chair, Cllr Raymond Christie.  Raymond said "Reaching this milestone is a great achievement and I would like to thank all of the crews and harbour staff who took part for their fantastic efforts to help protect our precious marine environment and shoreline.

Although unable to attend, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunninghame, said "Marine litter is a very serious issue both for Scottish seas and across the global oceans.  It is shown to harm wildlife and the natural environment whilst impacting on our marine industries through damage to subsea and coastal infrastructure, vessels and fishing gear.

The Fishing for Litter Project  supports the Scottish Government's commitment to tackling the issue of marine litter through our Marine Litter Strategy and I would like to congratulate KIMO on their success in reaching this milestone.  I would also like to take the opportunity to commend those fishermen who are participating and making a real difference in cleaning up Scotland's seas."

Attending the event, Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, added "Our north-east coastline provides a livelihood for thousands of people, as well as providing a habitat for countless species of marine lifestyle.  Therefore, it's our duty to protect it and I applaud our local fishermen for going above and beyond to remove as much litter from our waters."

 Here's to the next 1000!! 

Posted on: 9th January, 2017

Fishing For Litter Scotland shortlisted in The Ocean Awards 2017

Fishing for Litter was been selected as one of two finalists for The Ocean Awards 2017 'Saefarers' award. This is great recognition of the hard work that continues to be done by our fishermen, ports and harbours  Wish us luck for January 11th when the winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in London.

On the night, the project was pipped to the post by Land Rover-Ben Ainslie Racing's Ocean Racing team for their work on for doing the right thing in an insanely competitive sport by having the best sustainability strategy among the America’s Cup teams.  Well done to them.

Posted on: 29th September, 2016

FFL Scotland awarded EMFF Grant

Fishing for Litter Scotland's future has been secured until at least 31 March 2017 by this award from EMFF.  KIMO UK's Chair, Cllr Raymond Christie said " This is great news and gives us the space we need to seek funding a further phase of Fishing for Litter and prepare for an expansion in participation". 

Gaining support from EMFF is further demonstration that this is a valuable initiative and recognises the effort of the fishermen and port staff in collecting almost 1000 tonnes of marine litter so far.

Posted on: 18th August, 2016

Posted on: 8th August, 2016

Crown Estate Stewardship Programme

The Crown Estates support projects that generate value and strengthen relationships across core sectors. These partnerships deliver lasting benefits to the local communities and environments in which they operate. Check out their Stewardship Programme at

Posted on: 4th May, 2016

10 Years of Fishing for Litter

KIMO UK's award winning Fishing for Litter initiative has celebrated 10 years of working with the fishing industry to help keep our seas safe and pollution free.

Set up as a project in 2005, after trialling as part of the Save the North Sea project, Fishing for Litter is now operated by KIMO UK in Scotland and the South West of England. Similar projects operate in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Holderness Coast and North Devon. All of these projects have joined KIMO UK's Fishing for Litter Coordinators' forum and share best practice and experiences to ensure we all get the best out of the effort of our fishermen and harbours.

To give you a flavour of what we have been doing, here is a summary of Fishing for Litter in Scotland during 2015.

Posted on: 21st January, 2016