Fishing for Litter, the original ocean cleanup project, may not garner the publicity of newer, flashier schemes but it continues to do what it’s done for the last 20 years – remove tonnes of marine plastics from the ocean for good.
Shortly before Christmas, the project has received its own booster shot as it expands to include North Shields Fish Quay in Tyne and Wear, North East England.
North Shields Fish Quay dates back to about the 13th Century and has a fascinating history. In 1225 a village of shielings (fisherman’s huts) developed where the Fish Quay stands today. North Shields took its name from the shielings and the fact it stands on the north bank of the River Tyne.
North Shields is one of the busiest and most important fishing ports on the East Coast of England. Whilst other traditional fishing ports in the region have lost almost all of their fleet, North Shields continues to flourish. This is mainly down to the success of the Farne Deep Nephrops fishery, a winter fishery which attracts up to 100 visiting trawlers each year in addition to the local fleet of 30 vessels who operate out of North Shields throughout the year. Nephrops (more commonly known as Scampi or Langoustines) are an extremely important species for UK fisheries. Most of the Nephrops caught off the UK coast are landed at North Shields.
Nik Hanlon, Managing Director at North Shields Fish Quay Company Ltd, said:
We are delighted to be working in partnership with KIMO UK in setting up a Fishing For Litter scheme at North Shields. We currently have around 60 vessels operating from the port and believe that the scheme will be extremely successful. It is a fantastic opportunity for our fishing fleet to make a difference and have a positive impact on the state of our seas.
Project Coordinator, Julia Cant of KIMO UK was on site for the inauguration of the project and was similarly enthused about the latest expansion of Fishing for Litter in the UK:
The Fishing for Litter project in the UK continues to go from strength to strength. This is testimony to the support of fishers and harbours and their commitment to improving the health of our seas. We are very excited to have North Shields harbour on board and look forward to working with them to clean up our seas, one Fishing for Litter bag at a time.