Despite many initiatives to reduce marine litter it remains one of the most significant environmental problems affecting the marine environment. Fishing for Litter is an imaginative yet simple initiative that aims to reduce marine litter by involving one of the key stakeholders: the fishing industry. KIMO directly provides fishing boats with large bags to deposit marine sourced litter. When full, these bags are deposited safely on the quayside to then be collected for disposal. This reduces the volume of debris washing up on our beaches and also reduces the amount of time fishermen spend untangling their gear.
The initiative not only involves the direct removal of litter from the sea, but also raises awareness of the significance of the problem amongst local communities. This pioneering project has expanded from an original pilot scheme in the Netherlands and is now a well-recognised initiative in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Since the Scottish project launched in 2005, the number of harbours and fishermen involved has steadily increased as word spread about this simple yet effective project. The scheme has been well supported by Solway fishermen for many years with Kirkcudbright and Isle of Whithorn both being participating harbours.