It’s been a busy few months in the Secretariat.
In April I attended the OSPAR Environmental Impacts of Human Activities (EIHA) meeting in Berlin and presented two papers.
The first pressed for a ban on the mass release of helium filled balloons. This was not agreed but the issue was referred to ICGML for their consideration in relation to the Marine Litter Regional Action Plan, action 48.
The second paper addressed the issue of pollution from paraffin washing up on beaches in Denmark and Sweden. As a result of us bringing this issue to the attention of EIHA, KIMO has been asked to collate data on specific incidences of paraffin pollution and submit these to the next meeting of EIHA. The Secretariat and the National Coordinators will be working together on this in the next few months.
KIMO has also been asked by OSPAR to provide information on current beach cleaning methods used by our members for the purpose of establishing best practices guidelines for the 15 national governments that cooperate within OSPAR. This request is clear recognition of KIMO’s status as leaders in this field. Your national coordinators will be in touch with you soon and I would encourage all municipalities to take this opportunity to directly influence what is intended to become Europe-wide best practice guidance.
We have had several successful outcomes from recent lobbying:
• In May, KIMO lobbied the UK and Scottish governments to address the issue of Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) provision in Scottish waters and helped to secure an undertaking from the Government to continue to fund one ETV. Work now begins on lobbying to increase this.
• Also in May, KIMO International supported KIMO Netherlands and Belgium to address the issue of micro plastics in cosmetic products with a key member of the plastics production industry in Belgium.
• On 1st July this year a new regulation came into force that requires weight verification of packed containers before loading, under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). KIMO’s lobbying of MEPs in 2010 has contributed to this welcome change in legislation, which will help to protect lives at sea.
Earlier in the year I was engaged in discussions with the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an alliance of organisations from many sectors, which is committed to finding solutions to the problems of lost and abandoned fishing gear. I am pleased to report that KIMO has been accepted as a participant in this alliance and currently KIMO UK is piloting a net-recycling project as part of one of the GGGI working groups.
I am delighted to announce that KIMO’s Fishing for Litter project has been nominated for an Oceans 2017 award. This award, partly sponsored by the ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation, celebrates individuals and projects that have made outstanding contributions to the health of the oceans. There are awards in several categories and the recipients will be announced on 11 January 2017.
Going forward, information on meetings, press releases, publicity and on all the work undertaken by the Secretariat will be published on our new website.
Finally, we are delighted to welcome Grioghair McCord to the Secretariat. As well as undertaking the day-to-day tasks of the Secretariat office, Grioghair has been working on KIMO’s new website and on enhancing our presence on social media – watch this space for more news! He looks forward to meeting you all at the AGM and Conference in Noordwijk in October
KIMO International Secretariat