A pre-school in Lochinver has successfully lobbied to get its local harbour to join KIMO’s Fishing For Litter project, after making a sign and sending it to KIMO via Twitter to raise the profile of its campaign.

KIMO’s Fishing For Litter project works with the fishing industry to reduce marine litter, and the children at Lochinver Early Learning Centre started a campaign almost two and a half years ago by asking the local harbour to join the initiative. As part of their Eco-Schools work, they completed a survey of fishing boats using Kinlochbervie, Ullapool and Lochinver harbours, and found that Lochinver was the only one not in the scheme.

Visits to the harbour and pressure on local councillors seemed to falter for various reasons.

Jaci Douglas, Care and Learning Alliance (CALA) chief executive sent a tweet and photo to KIMO, and this has successfully reignited the process.

The primary funding is coming from Tesco, which had recently approached KIMO looking to fund and recruit a new Fishing For Litter harbour in Scotland.

Faron McLellan, KIMO UK co-ordinator, said: “With Tesco expressing interest in funding and recruiting a new Fishing For Litter harbour, this just seemed like the perfect match. Thanks to Tesco, we were able to recruit Lochinver as our 20th harbour on the project in Scotland, and help the local children achieve their goal. Fishing For Litter is not just about the fishermen and harbours, it also involves the community, and for the local children of this community, to be the force behind the recruitment of Lochinver harbour is really something special.”

Lochinver Early Learning Centre (ELC) said of its achievement: “It’s amazing! Wishes really do come true! The children are so aware of the damage from pollution in our sea, and are thrilled to be doing their part to ‘help save the world’!”

Jaci Douglas added, “The power of sharing the wishes of the children in Lochinver ELC was amazing, and I am so grateful for the quick and enthusiastic response from the organisations.”

Tesco and KIMO UK established their partnership, supported by World Animal Protection, to bring Fishing For Litter to Lochinver harbour through their membership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). The GGGI is a cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide. It was established by World Animal Protection in 2014, and since January 2019 has been hosted by the lead partner, Ocean Conservancy.

Helena Delgado Nordmann, Tesco responsible sourcing manager, said: “As a responsible retailer and the biggest MSC retailer by volume in the UK, Tesco has a significant role to play in promoting healthy oceans and fish stocks, and preserving its resources for future generations. As part of our marine sustainability agenda, we are pleased to have joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative and to be co-funding Fishing For Litter, collaborating to keep our oceans clean and fish stocks healthy.”

Peter Kemple Hardy, campaign manager for World Animal Protection, commented: “We’re delighted to support this partnership between KIMO UK and Tesco to bring Fishing For Litter to Lochinver harbour. It is a great demonstration of the role the Global Ghost Gear Initiative plays in bringing together partners from diverse sectors who are committed to tackling the threat to our oceans from marine litter. Healthy oceans are vital to the communities that rely on them, and we should all play our part in protecting them.”

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