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04/03/19 00:01

Future of fisheries in Scotland

National discussion paper launched in Orkney.

Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing has launched a national discussion paper setting out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future of fisheries. 

Mr Ewing is meeting with representatives from the local fishing community in Kirkwall, Orkney, on Monday in the first of a series of similar meetings across Scotland, which will allow individuals, businesses and communities involved in fishing to have their say in what a new strategy for fisheries management should look like.

Key priorities include

·         Ensuring that access to Scottish waters and fishing opportunities is not traded away by the UK Government
·         Continuing the use of Total Allowable Catch (TACs) as our primary stock management tool in future
·         Ensuring that Scottish fishing quota is in the hands of active Scottish fishermen
·         Supporting the principle of a discard ban but working with stakeholders to put a more workable approach in place
·         Supporting new entrants by creating additional licenses and quota
·         Pressing the UK Government to introduce a new work permit system to secure sustainable labour supply for fishing industry

Launching the paper, Mr Ewing said:

“Scotland has a rich fishing culture and heritage and it is vital that we build on that sustainably for the future. 

Brexit will inevitably bring changes in the way in which we manage our fisheries and also the relationships which we will have with our friends and colleagues from other seafaring nations. 

“Whatever the future holds, Scotland’s role as a world-leading fisheries nation, and as a responsible and sustainable manager of this important natural resource, will continue.  This discussion paper will help us develop our approach to local management and partnership working that we already have in place. 

“It’s vital that we come together to shape our future approach, and that everyone involved in fishing has their say in that process. Only by doing so can we best manage our natural resources sustainably, and ensure the brightest possible future for fishing in this country.

“The discussion paper isn’t intended to provide all the answers, but rather act as a catalyst for us to move forward together, and develop ideas which can help deliver an inclusive, productive approach.

“I’m delighted to begin those discussions here in Orkney, where fishing has been the lifeblood of coastal communities for centuries.”   

Background

Future of Fisheries Management discussion paper - Scottish Government website