Scotland's Fishermen have just landed their 1000th tonne of marine litter caught in their nets. That bumper haul is enough to fill three Olympic swimming pools.
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!!