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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Berkshire, Somerset, Hampshire
    Posts
    3,917

    Default Fishing for litter

    Interesting press release in my mailbox...


    PETERHEAD FISHERMEN TO CATCH RUBBISH AS WELL AS COD AND HADDOCK

    Centre of Scotland's white fish industry backs Fishing For Litter initiative

    Fishermen at Scotland's leading white fishing port are set to become the first in mainland UK to back a northern European initiative to cut the amount of marine litter in the North Sea.

    Nine members of Peterhead's fishing fleet will bring ashore debris which gets caught up in their nets. Called Fishing for Litter, the initiative is part of Save The North Sea - a campaign to combat marine litter - and co-ordinated by KIMO International.

    As well as helping the environment and benefiting all those using the North Sea for either work or pleasure, the fishing industry will benefit from the initiative through the reduced risks of damages to fishing gear and contamination of catches.

    The launch of the scheme in Peterhead comes the week after it was announced that a study of North Sea fulmars - funded by Save the North Sea - found that 96 per cent had plastic in their stomachs.

    John Mouat, Save the North Sea project coordinator for KIMO, said: "As the fulmar study demonstrates, marine litter can be costly not only to fishermen but also to the health of marine animals such as birds and seals."

    "I am delighted that we have been able to expand Fishing For Litter activities to Peterhead as part of our involvement with the Save The North Sea project. The cooperation of fishermen and the harbour in Peterhead shows the north east's commitment to improve the marine environment and reduce the problem of marine litter."

    John Watt of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation added: "Marine litter in the North Sea needs to be tackled head on. The fact that Peterhead fishermen are taking steps to combat this issue shows how seriously the Scottish fishing industry takes the problem and is to be welcomed."

    Fishermen on 54 boats from eight harbours across northern Europe have collected around 210 tonnes of marine litter since the initiative began. In June 2003, fishermen in Lerwick, Shetland, became the first in the UK to sign up to the scheme. In 2004, it is estimated that fishermen involved in the project across northern Europe will bring ashore 260 tonnes of marine litter.

    Every year, time is lost by fishermen dealing with marine litter.

    Using figures from the "Impacts of Marine Debris and Oil" (Hall, 2000) KIMO has calculated that the price per tonne of marine litter is £1,300 in lost time. This figure - based on average time spent cleaning nets, average hourly rate and average time spent at sea - means that the 210 tonnes collected to date could have cost fishermen more than a quarter-of-a-million pounds. And that is before adding in loss of catches, damage to gear or disposal costs.

    Fishermen in Shetland, Hvide Sande (Denmark), Vlissingen (Netherlands), Stellendam (Netherlands), Breskens (Netherlands), Den Helder (Netherlands). Smφgen (Sweden) and now Peterhead take part in the initiative.


    Ends 22 April 04


    NOTES TO EDITORS

    Fishing For Litter

    • Fishing For Litter currently has nine boats signed up in Peterhead, with more expected to join shortly.
    • The Shetland Fishing For Litter scheme involves 10 boats.



    Background Information on Save the North Sea project

    • Partly fundedthrough the EU's INTERREG IIIb programme, the project will run until December 2004.
    • The ultimate aim of the project is high awareness from all users of the North Sea for the need to contribute to a cleaner North Sea, including cleaner beaches.
    • The project consists of:
    o Educational courses for seamen
    o Fishing for Litter
    o Eco Schools courses for teachers and youth
    o Individual Blue Flag Awards for leisure craft owners
    o A pilot project for recycling fishing nets
    o Research on plastic ingestion by seabirds (fulmar study)
    • Save the North Sea partners include:
    o Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation (Lead partner of the project)
    o ALTERRA, Texel - Marine and Coastal Zone Research Institute, Netherlands
    o Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), Norway
    o Keep Scotland Beautiful, UK.
    o KIMO International (Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation), UK
    o Skagen's Educational Centre, Denmark
    o The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Sweden

    Find out more information on Savethe North Sea by visiting itswebsite at www.savethenorthsea.com in other UK ports later this year.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orwell
    Posts
    4,480

    Default Re: Fishing for litter

    Kim, the English labelled litter you find on the beaches in the West Fresian islands is shocking. Because of the prevailing wind it mostly ends up on their beaches. Next time you have a photographer up there, get them to take a few shots so that people can see how much of this stuff we're dumping on our neighbours.

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