Kevin Stewart has welcomed the Scottish Government’s confirmation of funding for the Fishing for Litter project.
The project encourages fishing boats to bring ashore litter that they catch in their nets.
It is an active environmental response to the increase of marine litters in the seas around the British Isles, Scandinavia and Western Europe.
Along with recovering litter, the scheme also aims to raise awareness of the detrimental impact such waste can have on the marine environment. The future of the project had been called into question when sponsorship stopped.
However, Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, has confirmed that the Scottish Government “will continue to support the project, and encourage other funders to contribute, to enable the project to continue in future”.
Mr Stewart, who used to be a delegate from Aberdeen City to KIMO, commented: “The Fishing for Litter project has been a great initiative for helping the marine environment.
“I am sure this support from the Scottish Government will be welcomed by all those involved in the scheme.”
Fishing for Litter is run by KIMO an association of coastal local authorities whose goal is to eliminate pollution from the Northern Seas.
More than 210 boats and 14 harbours participate in the Scottish initiative.
Fishing vessels in Scotland have voluntarily removed more than 600 tonnes of marine litter from Scotland’s seas and landed it in participating ports, the equivalent of bringing more than 35 million empty drink cans ashore.
The litter originates from a number of sources, including a significant amount from the general public, and much of it is plastic that, if left in the sea, would spend many, many years in the environment slowly breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that are potentially affecting the marine food chain.
.The project is co-ordinated by KIMO, an international association of Local authorities.