KIMO has been involved in lobbying of the UK and Scottish governments and the European Parliament over several years regarding ETV provision in Scottish waters. The recent decision by the Government to continue to fund the provision of 1 ETV in Orkney was due in no small way to KIMO’s intervention. We are continuing to press for completion of the MCA’s work in order to determine how many ETVs are needed to cover the patrol area and for clarification on the extent of the patrol area, particularly in light of the recent Transocean Winner grounding incident off the Western Isles. In July 2016 KIMO wrote to John Hayes (Minister of State for the Department of Transport in the UK Government) and requested a meeting on this issue.
ETV provision is also matter of concern on the Faroe Islands, where they need to call for ETV provision from Norway or Scotland if they have a situation they can not handle locally.
Weighing of Shipping Containers
KIMO has lobbied since 2010 for changes in the law to ensure shipping containers are properly weighed and stacked when loaded on board a ship. New legislation came into force in July 2016 to ensure that correct weights are clearly recorded on ship manifests. KIMO’s lobbying of MEPs has undoubtedly contributed to this welcome change in legislation, which will help to protect lives at sea.
Fishing for Litter Scheme
KIMO’s Fishing for Litter initiative is the first program of its kind that aims to reduce marine litter by involving one of the key stakeholders – the fishing industry. Participating vessels are given hardwearing bags to collect marine litter that is caught in their nets during their normal fishing activities. Filled bags are deposited in participating harbours on the quayside where they are moved to a dedicated skip or bin. Participation is voluntary and there is no cost to the fishermen. Fishing for Litter continues to operate in Scotland, England and the Netherlands. To date more than 4500 tonnes of litter has been removed from the ocean. Its success has attracted policy-makers – maintaining and expanding the scheme is now a key action in the Scottish Marine Litter Strategy.
Ghost Net Recycling – pilot project
This project aims to collect end-of-life nets from fishing harbours right around Scotland and arrange for their transport to a recycling facility where they will be processed and used for manufacture of new plastic products. It is intended that there will be no charge for to the fisherman depositing the net in the harbour. This will encourage responsible disposal of life-expired nets by removing a significant cost barrier and thereby ensure that fewer nets find their way into the marine environment. This is turn will reduce the harm caused by ‘ghost gear’ to marine life. The pilot has come to a close but KIMO is exploring further avenues to expand net recycling.