A pilot Fishing for Litter scheme ran in Faroe during the spring of 2008. The scheme has recently been restarted with 4 trawlers participating.
The results from the pilot scheme offer an interesting point of comparison to see how the composition of marine litter has changed over the last decade. During the pilot a total of three bags containing 164 items were collected. 89% of the litter was plastic/polystyrene while the rest was divided between the other categories. Under the new scheme, the portion of plastic/polystyrene has increased making up 95% of the litter collected. The sample size is small but the preliminary results mirror the wider trend of increasing levels of ocean plastic.
Sveiney Sverrisdóttir, the Faroese KIMO coordinator is upbeat about the project and heartened by the way the local community has pulled together to make it work:
Our plan is that the Fishing for Litter project will be voluntary. This is mainly because our organisation is a small one and we have to rely on local people to help with the work.
The project is looking to expand in 2019 with some fishing vessels in Torshavn interested in joining the scheme.