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News / Marine litter cash

750 tonnes of litter has so far been removed from the sea.

THE CROWN Estate, the organisation that owns much of Scotland’s seabed and foreshore, has committed £45,000 to an award winning marine litter initiative.

Since 2005 more than 750 tonnes of litter has been removed from the sea thanks to KIMO’s Fishing for Litter campaign.

The organisation works with 210 fishing vessels and 14 harbours to encourage boats to bring ashore litter caught in their nets as they work in the waters around Scotland.

The move coincides with the publication of the Scottish Government’s marine litter strategy on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman said the Crown Estate had already granted £90,000 to the project since 2008.

The new money will be used to raise awareness about marine litter prevention among primary pupils across Scotland.

Asset manager with the Crown Estate, Paul Bancks, added: “The campaign is also considering how to work with local education authorities to include the topic more formally in the curriculum and develop a full resource pack.”

Project co-ordinator Tom Piper said: “In order to reduce marine litter, we need the public’s help, on land as well as at sea. Education is critical, so The Crown Estate’s continued support is very welcome and will help us deliver environmental and economic benefits.”

It is estimated that marine litter costs the fishing industry as much as £17,000 per boat each year through contamination of catches, broken gear and fouled propellers.

Each boat is calculated to take 41 hours a year to remove marine debris from its nets, a significant amount of a boat’s days at sea allocation.

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