Scottish government looks to boost inshore fisheries, coastal communities
A new pilot scheme will look at ways in which the management of Scotland’s inshore fisheries can be improved to ensure coastal communities can make the most of their waters, the country’s Fisheries Secretary, Fergus Ewing, has confirmed.
Over the coming weeks, the Scottish government will work with the industry to identify areas that could host pilot projects.
The first trial will test a more localized approach to fisheries management, where fishing interests will be responsible for developing distinct local arrangements, while a second pilot will trial the impact in an area of separating different methods of fishing, such as creeling and trawling.
Ewing announced the move ahead of a meeting with the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation.
“With some of our best seafood sourced from inshore waters, the sector plays a crucial role in our rural economy so we need to do all we can to help it thrive,” he said. “These pilots will investigate how we can best manage our inshore fisheries and whether there are new and innovative ways of sustainably maximizing the benefits of the sector. Giving communities more management control gives them a sense of ownership and an opportunity to work together to find solutions that best meet their needs."
The new trials build on the Scottish government’s Inshore Fisheries Strategy, which was launched two years ago and has helped guide recent improvements in shellfish conservation management, tackling unlicensed fishing, and improving the science on which inshore fisheries are managed.
"This work will help us improve our inshore fisheries while maintaining our diverse marine environment," Ewing said. "Importantly, it will make sure future strategies are based on better evidence, experience and understanding so our coastal communities can make the most of our inshore waters.”