AN INTERNATIONAL EFFORT to clear the seas of rubbish is being adopted by the Moray Council with Buckie Harbour the latest port to sign up.
Under the banner ‘Fishing for Litter’ the marine protection scheme is being run by the local authorities international environment organisation KIMO UK alongside the Scottish Government and Moray Council.
The ultimate aim of the effort is to eliminate pollution from northern seas – now as part of the initiative a skip has been placed on one of the piers at Buckie Harbour, allowing fishing vessels to dispose of any sea litter they collect in their nets while at sea.
Large bags are available free to fishing boats to collect and store the rubbish until they arrive at a participating harbour where it can be disposed of in the skip.
KIMO UK’s National Coordinator, Graham Humphries, said: “It is great to have the support of Buckie Harbour and the local fishermen. With their help we can make fishing a little better as well as improving the environment for sea mammals and seabirds.”
The project will cover the entire coastline and will reduce the impact of marine litter on the fishing fleet which is put at £10,000 a year for each boat. Plastics are the major cause of danger for marine life with around 96% of Fulmar seabirds found to have plastic in their stomachs.
Buckie has now joined 15 Scottish ports participating in the scheme with six Buckie-registers boats having signed up – the Regent Bird, Heather Spring, Caledonia II, Eschol, Rival and Homeland.
Application forms to join the free scheme are available at the Buckie harbour office. Ships that bring sea litter back should report it to the Buckie Harbour office before dumping so that it can be recorded and the skip opened. The harbour office is open 24/7.