FISHING: World leading fisheries proposals, according to SNP ministers

Striving to make fishing sustainable for future generations

By Lucy Ashton

New measures to make Scotland a world-leader in managing fisheries stocks have been published for consultation.

Views on a draft future catching policy are being sought along with plans to roll-out Remote Electronic Monitoring systems for boats fishing in Scottish waters.

The proposals include:

  • Additional technical and spatial management measures to reduce catches of unwanted fish and support the fishing industry to avoid bycatch of sensitive        marine species such as seabirds, seals and dolphins;
  • Simplify the rules around discarding of fish;
  • Introducing mandatory Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM), which can include the use of cameras, sensors and GPS, on board key parts of the    fishing industry operating in Scottish waters to provide assurance that fishing activity is sustainable and lawful, while at the same time gathering data to         allow for better decision making

Working in partnership with fishers, scientists and environmental groups, the consultations will shape an environmentally and economically sustainable sector for future generations.

The rules for both schemes will apply to all vessels, regardless of origin, fishing in Scottish waters – ensuring a level playing field for all.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, pictured right,  said: “Scotland’s seas are rich and diverse, providing delicious, healthy seafood and supporting our coastal communities.

“Fishers and their businesses make a significant contribution to the economic and cultural fabric of our coastal communities.

“Now, more than ever, the spotlight is on the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, which require urgent action in order to deliver change on a significant and long-lasting scale.

“The signing of the Bute House Agreement last year underlined our commitment to deliver the best outcomes for Scotland’s marine environment, our seafood sector and coastal communities.

“I would urge stakeholders to get involved in these consultations and play a part in securing a sustainable marine environment for future generations.”

The programme is a keystone of the wider Fisheries Management Strategy and will drive many of the new policies and management improvements to be delivered over the next eight years.

Meanwhile, both consultations can be found here: https://consult.gov.scot/consultation_finder/

Over 80% of Scotland’s active over 10 metre scallop dredge fleet now carry REM onboard.

According to a spokesperson, the consultation on REM confirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to introducing mandatory REM onboard all scallop dredge and large pelagic vessels operating in Scottish waters.

Subject to parliamentary time and approval, the aim is to have the legislation in place by the end of 2022 to do this.

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