Scottish Government to work with industry to identify areas which could host a series of pilot projects
New pilots are set to look at ways of improving the management of inshore fisheries to ensure coastal communities make the most of their waters, Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing has confirmed.
The Scottish Government says it will work with the industry over the coming weeks to identify areas which could host the pilots.
The first trial will test a more localised approach to fisheries management, where fishing interests will be responsible for developing distinct local arrangements, while a second pilot will trial the impact of separating different methods of fishing, such as creeling and trawling, in an area.
Mr Ewing, who announced the measures ahead of a meeting with the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, said: “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.
“These pilots will investigate how we can best manage our inshore fisheries and whether there are new and innovative ways of sustainably maximising 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.
“This work will help us improve our inshore fisheries while maintaining our diverse marine environment. 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.”
The new trials build on the Scottish Government’s Inshore Fisheries Strategy, which was launched in 2015 and has helped guide recent improvements in shellfish conservation management, tackling unlicensed fishing, and improving the science on which inshore fisheries are managed.