Thursday, 11 September 2008

Gibson hails 'Fishing for Litter' initiative




Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has hailed the ‘Fishing for Litter’ initiative coordinated by KIMO International, a pan Local Authority International Environmental Association, by lodging a congratulatory motion in the Scottish Parliament today.

The initiative has encouraged 54 fishing boats from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden to voluntarily collect over 400 tonnes of litter from the North Sea already. Over the next three years the initiative aims to encourage 100 boats to collect another 500 tonnes of marine litter from the waters around Scotland.

Commenting, Mr Gibson said...

"This is an excellent example of the kind of attitude everyone should take toward preserving our environment. I was only too happy to commend KIMO international and all the fishermen involved with the project in my motion to the Parliament. "

"Litter in the North Sea is not only environmentally damaging but also costs thousands per year in lost time, damage to nets, fouled propellers and contaminated catches. The Save the North Sea project demonstrated that, on average, each tonne of marine litter that accumulates in fisherman’s nets costs £1,300 in lost time alone. This goes to show that voluntary work such as this does pay off in the end."

Jimmy Buchan, skipper of the Amity II and one of the stars of the TV's "Trawlermen" series, has been participating in the initiative for several years and commented on Rob's motion saying:

"It's a great programme and from a fisherman's perspective I can tell you that it's working. Each year I go out I'm catching less and less litter and it's because of what we as fisherman are doing. We're going about our day to day jobs but also picking up this litter and disposing of it in a responsible manner and that is having a noticeable positive effect."



Copy of motion to the Scottish Parliament:

Short Title: Fishing for Litter
S3M-02531 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP): That the Parliament congratulates KIMO International and all the fisherman involved in the Fishing for Litter initiative; commends their work in reducing North Sea marine littering by bringing ashore litter gathered in their nets while fishing; applauds the goal of the initiative to encourage 100 boats to take part with the aim of collecting 500 tonnes of marine litter from the waters around Scotland over the next three years; notes that 400 tonnes of litter have already been collected by the 54 boats involved in the imitative, which is run in the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden, and finally notes its benefit for all those using the North Sea and UK beaches as well as the positive financial impact on the UK fishing industry due to a reduction in the amount of marine litter.

Link to KIMO International's Save the North Sea Project comprising the initiative:

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