Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead was in Eyemouth on Wednesday (March 25) to mark 800 tonnes of litter being removed from Scottish maritime waters in the last 10 years. Fishing for Litter is a voluntary scheme that allows boats to land marine litter they have caught in their nets. Eyemouth harbour has been participating in the Fishing for Litter scheme since 2005.
Mr Lochhead said: “Litter is a blight on Scotland’s communities and coastlines, tarnishing our beautiful landscapes and harming our wildlife and natural assets.
“Much of this litter ends up on Scotland’s coastline which is damaging to our precious marine environment and harmful to our wildlife. It is also a major eyesore with waste often visible on our beaches and in our waters.
“Fishing for Litter is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership working. The project is making a real difference cleaning up Scotland’s seas, removing over 800 tonnes of litter shows just how far we have come in the last ten years, which is why the Scottish Government has provided financial support to the project since 2005.
“It is a credit to KIMO, the fishing industry and our project partners that 212 boats and 14 harbours, right round the entire coastline of Scotland, currently participate in the scheme.
“I am also delighted to announce that Buckie harbour will be joining the Fishing for Litter scheme next month, which will bring the number of harbours participating in the project to 15.”
Graham Humphries, Coordinator, KIMO UK said: “Fishing for Litter Scotland marks it ten year anniversary this year, the project’s success has been down to the dedication of the fishermen, harbour masters and all those who help us raise awareness and the funds necessary to keep running.
“We are delighted that the Minister has been part of the team since the start and his support and that of Marine Scotland has been, and will continue to be, very important in helping us ensure that this important project continues to grow and contribute to the important task of cleaning up our seas.
“Looking to the future, further funding remains vitally important to allow for the continued growth of the project and to keep our seas clean.”