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South West England
What is Fishing for Litter?
Despite many initiatives to reduce marine litter it remains one of the most significant environmental problems affecting the marine environment. 20,000 tonnes of litter is dumped into the North Sea alone every year. KIMO’s Fishing for Litter is an imaginative yet simple initiative that aims to reduce marine litter by involving one of the key stakeholders, the fishing industry. KIMO directly provides fishing boats with large bags to deposit marine sourced litter. When full, these bags are deposited safely on the quayside to then be collected for disposal. This reduces the volume of debris washing up on our beaches and also reduces the amount of time fishermen spend untangling their nets.
The initiative not only involves the direct removal of litter from the sea, but also raises awareness of the significance of the problem amongst each community. This pioneering project has expanded from an original pilot scheme in the Netherlands to now be a highly recognisable initiative in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Since the Scottish project launched in 2005, the number of harbours and fishermen involved have steadily increased as word spread about how simple yet effective the project could be run. The scheme now operates in all of Scotland’s Designated Landing Ports (DLPs). 2008 saw the launch of the next strategic phase of the project, which will continue until 2011. This phase will consolidate and expand Fishing for Litter in Scotland whilst establishing a presence in English waters. It is also hoped Fishing for Litter can be launched in the Baltic sea region following the addition of KIMO's new Baltic members.