Teamwork delivers safe disposal

Lerwick Port Authority contributed to a coordinated effort to safely dispose of around 250 metres of plastic pipe recovered adrift in the northern North Sea.

It teamed up with Shetland Islands Council and cleaner seas network, KIMO international which spearheads the Fishing for Litter scheme – in which the Authority is a participating port – for the onshore handling of the pipe.

The debris was spotted during offshore survey work by vessel SW Amundsen and retrieved by the crew of the Sanco Scorpio, a Norwegian seismic survey ship, owned by Sanco Shipping, while en route to Lerwick. The heavy duty plastic pipe, 90mm in diameter and 10mm in thickness, was cut into more than 50 manageable sections for secure storage on deck.

The Port Authority arranged personnel and transport for transfer of the 680kg (around 0.7 tonne) of pipe to the Council’s waste disposal facility for recycling, with the Council’s nominal charge met by KIMO.

Julia Cant, Network Coordinator, KIMO UK, said: “This is a pretty amazing result. By working together in a spirit of goodwill, we've removed a very large and cumbersome piece of marine litter from the ocean for good and at minimal cost. A huge thank-you to everyone involved!”

Stuart Wadley, the Authority’s HSEQ Manager, commented: “Waste materials in the ocean are a serious threat to sealife, the environment and, potentially, shipping. In the ongoing battle to clean up, every little helps – although in this case, not so little! Sanco Scorpio’s crew deserve praise for their efforts and the example set for other vessels. We were pleased to play our part.”

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