A trawlerman has called for an extension of a campaign which has hauled 1,000 tonnes of litter from Scottish waters.
Peterhead skipper Jimmy Buchan backs the Fishing for Litter scheme, run by a group of European coastal councils called Kimo.
Now Aberdeenshire Council is considering whether to continue its membership of Kimo and its support of the environmental campaign which covers Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Macduff harbours.
Mr Buchan, skipper of the Amity II, said: “Litter in the sea is no different to litter on land. If we stopped collecting litter on land people would have plenty to say – it would cause environmental issues. I see the fishing industry as exactly the same. The fishermen should be applauded.”
New figures show hundreds of tonnes of litter have been collected since the scheme was launched more than a decade ago.
The total collected is expected to reach 1,000 tonnes by Christmas.
Mr Buchan said: “We’re stewards of the sea and I’d be disappointed to see the scheme dropped.”
In a report to Aberdeenshire councillors the local authority’s infrastructure chief Stephen Archer said both Peterhead and Fraserburgh harbours receive £4,000 per year from the council to support the campaign.