Fishing for Litter News

Find out more what's going on at Fishing for Litter

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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

New Funding from the Retail Sector

Partners at John Lewis Aberdeen give Fishing for Litter Scotland its first funds from the Scottish Bag Charge

Marine litter kills thousands of sea birds, fish and mammals every year and is an eyesore on our beaches. Plastic bags are a particular problem because turtles mistake them for jelly fish and once eaten they can have dire consequence for the turtle.

Fishing for Litter Scotland has been assisting fishermen to remove litter from our seas for 10 years. With more 850 hundred tonnes of marine litter from Scotland’s seas and landed at participating ports around the coast, the project has already made a significant difference. As well helping the fishermen to land the litter that they catch, the project aims to raise awareness of the problems created by marine litter.

Partners at the John Lewis store in Aberdeen have voted to give Fishing for Litter Scotland £2772 from funds raised from the 5p/bag charge to help them with their efforts. Part of the money will be used to purchase education materials for use in local primary schools and to set up a pilot programme to encourage litter removal from beaches.

At an event in the store to present the cheque, Robert Garnish, Head of Branch at John Lewis Aberdeen commented “being a coastal city, I think the link between money raised by charging for carrier bags and working to reduce marine litter is something we can all relate to so I am delighted that Partners (staff) in Aberdeen have chosen to support Fishing for Litter Scotland. Whilst there will be a tangible benefit as a result of the funds raised, from an environmental perspective it has also been great to see a significant drop in the purchasing of new carrier bags over the past 9 months.”

Download the full Press Release here

Posted on: 20th January, 2016

Slains School pupils enlisted to help protect our sealife

Slains School pupils enlisted to help protect our sealife

Pupils at Slains Primary School had a visit last Thursday from ‘Freddie the Fulmar’ and heard all about how marine litter is harming our sealife. During the session, they heard how plastic breaks down in the sea into small pieces which last a long time and are easily mistaken by seabirds for food. Over 3 million seabirds, including 500,000 fulmars, visit Scotland to breed every year.

Fulmars forage exclusively at sea, capturing prey from the sea surface. They frequently ingest floating marine litter, including plastic objects, confusing them with food. Unlike most seabirds, fulmars do not regurgitate plastic particles but accumulate them. Ingested plastics reduce food intake and the bird’s ability to process the food, leading to a deteriorated body condition often associated with increased mortality and reduced breeding success. 98% of northern fulmars now have plastic in their stomachs. The children also heard how plastic bags are mistaken for jellyfish and eaten by sea turtles.

After examining a range of marine litter collected from Collieston Beach, the children made some great suggestions for helping to solve the problem – from more bins to beach cleans to the recruiting ‘litter police’. At the end, they discussed KIMO UK’s ‘Pick up 3 Pieces’ initiative.  This simple initiative invites visitors to beaches to make a difference by taking just three pieces of litter home every time they visit.  If everyone in Scotland’s coastal communities did this every month, 55 million pieces of litter would be removed from our beaches.

If want to get involved with Pick up 3 Pieces, visit The initiative is being promoted as part of KIMO UK’s Fishing for Litter project and is just getting underway.


Read the Ellon Times article

Posted on: 14th January, 2016

Scottish fishermen rewarded for helping clean our seas

KIMO UK's Fishing for Litter Scotland project was honoured to receive the RSPB's prestigious Nature of Scotland Award for Marine Conservation during its 4th Annual Award ceremony at the Grand Sheraton in Edinburgh last week

The award, sponsored by Northlink Ferries, recognises an "outstanding contribution to the conservation or sustainable management of Scotland's precious marine resources".

KIMOUK's Chairman, Cllr Raymond Christie said "Thank you to the RSPB and Northlink Ferries. This award is great recognition for the hard work carried out over the last ten years by fishermen and harbour staff right around the Scottish coastline. Marine Litter is a huge problem and we all need to do as much we can to stop litter, particularly plastic, getting into our seas. The world is just waking up to the fact that we need to stop putting rubbish in our seas and oceans and start taking it out"

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment said “Marine litter is a serious issue in Scottish seas and across the global oceans, litter can harm wildlife and the marine environment. It also impacts on our marine industries through damage to subsea and coastal infrastructure, vessels and fishing gear.”

“I am delighted that Fishing for Litter has received an award for marine conservation, this ground-breaking project is making a real difference in cleaning up Scotland’s seas and this award is recognition of their excellent work would encourage others to follow their lead and consider the actions they can take to ensure that litter does not enter the marine environment.”

Ross Dougal, President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “We are delighted that the work of our fishermen in removing marine litter has been

recognised with this prestigious award. Scottish fishermen are enthusiastic participants in the Fishing for Litter initiative and are committed to ensuring that our seas are clean and healthy.”

KIMO International’s President, Karsten Filsø (Holstebro Kommune, Denmark) said “I am delighted to hear of KIMO UK’s success in winning this award for its Fishing for Litter Scotland project. Marine litter is one of the most significant global problems affecting the marine environment, killing seabirds, fish and mammals. It’s an eyesore on our beaches and costs the fishing industry money in lost time. Through the Fishing for Litter initiatives, the KIMO organisation along with ports and fishing vessels are making a positive contribution to reducing litter in our seas, which benefits marine wildlife, our fishing industry and our coastline.”

Download the Full Press Release Here

Posted on: 18th December, 2015