Members of Shetland's pelagic fishing fleet have added value to their environmental efforts by collecting old nets for recycling in support of good causes.

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The collection was inspired by brothers William and Andrew Whyte whose Fraserburgh-based organisation, Oor Bairns, contributes to projects both at home and in various developing countries,

A batch of nets have now been collected from Lerwick Harbour by the Fraserburgh-registered pelagic trawler, Forever Grateful, and shipped to her home port for processing by Excelsior Fishing Company. Ancillary items – for example, ropes, chains, clamps and other non-nylon parts – will be removed for resale and the nylon nets chopped, shredded and sent for melting to produce pellets for plastics, with the money raised going to Oor Bairns.

Forever Grateful has been landing catches at Lerwick for a number of years. Lerwick Port Authority waives dues and provides free berthing when the vessel calls to collect nets annually.

The Shetland fleet’s contribution was coordinated by George Anderson, a member of the Port Authority and skipper of the fishing vessel, Adenia. He said: “The opportunity to recycle old nets for good causes makes sense for the environment and we are pleased to support such a worthy endeavour. The Whyte brothers are to be congratulated on their good work.”

Collected over the past year, the nets were stored by Adenia Fishing Company and ICD Scrap Haulage transported them to the Forever Grateful, berthed at Gremista.

Assistance given by Oor Bairns to help build fishing boats in Banda Aceh following the devastating tsunami has resulted in some being given Shetland names. Support has also been provided for boats elsewhere in Sumatra and in Thailand, India and Burma.

In addition to supporting local causes in North East Scotland, other many examples of support by Oor Bairns includes an orphanage in The Philippines, housing in Ghana, and a bicycle for a pastor in Africa to save him walking up to 20 miles a day between churches.

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