Kimo UK’s Fishing for Litter Scotland project, which involves three ports in Shetland, has won the Marine Conservation Award in the RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards.
The awards ceremony in Edinburgh last night brought together more than 200 decision-makers and supporters involved in Scotland’s nature conservation industry.
Fishing for Litter Scotland is one of a number of similar schemes across Europe, co-ordinated by Kimo International, which aim to reduce marine pollution through the support of local fishing industry.
Fishing vessels are encouraged to collect marine litter that is caught in their nets during landings and to deposit these in large bags provided by project.
When the vessels come into port, these bags are then collected by harbour staff on the quayside and the waste is disposed of.
Across Scotland, 15 ports and over 200 boats are currently involved in the scheme including Cullivoe, Scalloway and Lerwick in Shetland.
Earlier this year the project celebrated a milestone in having removed 800 tonnes of marine litter from the seas around Scotland since 2005.
Councillor Billy Fox, the SICs Kimo representative, was delighted by the winning of the award.
Mr Fox said: “Marine litter is one of the most significant global problems affecting the marine environment.
“I’m pleased that the Kimo organisation and Shetland ports and fishing vessels are making a positive contribution to reducing litter in our seas through this project, which benefits marine wildlife, our seafood industry and our coastline.”