Ocean cleaning & recycling

KIMO International

Shetland, Scotland


KIMO is an international not-for-profit environmental organisation designed to give local authorities a political voice at regional, national and international level. Founded in 1990, KIMO has grown in size to over 80 local authority members from 9 countries, representing 7 million citizens.

KIMO works to minimise the impact of marine pollution from any source on the people who reside in our coastal areas and on local industries, recreation and economies. Our approach is a coordinated one, focussing on transnational issues where impact is strengthened by working collaboratively across national and global boundaries. Our pillars are:

• Lobbying international conventions, the EU, national and regional governments and industry to take effect action on marine pollution and maritime safety;
• Projects that improve the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic and Baltic Sea regions;
• Exchange and facilitation of best practices and information on effective pollution prevention, clean-up operations and sustainable development.

Since 2004 KIMO has coordinated a project called Fishing for Litter — a simple but effective initiative that aims to reduce marine litter by involving one of the key stakeholders – the fishing industry. KIMO provides fishers with large bags for their boats to collect marine litter that they bring up in their nets during their normal fishing activities. When the fishing boats come into port they can unload the bags of litter for no fee. The initiative not only involves the direct removal of litter from the sea, it also raises awareness of the problem within the fishing industry and results in a sustained change in behaviour of fishers. Fishing for Litter is currently operating in many countries across Europe and has evolved from a locally oriented project to an initiative that influences international maritime environmental policy and decision-making processes.

Since the inception of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, KIMO has worked to inspire and assist coastal communities to implement SDG14: Life below Water. We also guide our members and others on implementation of EU and national policy and legislation to become more sustainable through a circular economy approach to marine activities and the use of marine resources.

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