CLOSURE OF CLYDE FISHING GROUNDS
Closure of Clyde fishing grounds – Statement from SFF in response to Scottish Government regarding the closure.
Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the SFF, said:
“Today’s announcement by Scottish Government will be devastating news for those who make their living fishing in the Clyde and have limited or no other options during the period of closure.
“SFF fully supports fishing sustainably, and clearly conservation measures taken to recover fish stocks are an important part of sustainable fisheries management. For several years we have been constructively engaged with Scottish Government on interactions between fisheries and marine conservation, and there are good examples where this approach has served all parties well and has driven the desired outcomes. While we may not always agree, we have always been able to have mature, rational discussion and there has been a clear and logical process that has been followed in reaching decisions.
“Scottish Government’s botched handling of this specific issue has served only to undermine our trust in that process – no engagement since a short ‘routine’ consultation late last year, no subsequent discussion, no evidence presented to justify this course of action, and no warning of this change that will impact on many fishing businesses.
“Fishermen within the memberships of SFF’s constituent associations will be less affected by this particular case than those who rely on the Clyde for their primary fishing grounds. We are however very concerned by the Scottish Government’s apparent willingness to disregard due process, undermine constructive relationships and make decisions affecting lives and livelihoods without presenting any evidence as to why this is either necessary or beneficial.
“We are very concerned that this decision by Scottish Government – a government now driven by its cooperation agreement with the Scottish Greens – sets a dangerous precedent for how they intend to approach fisheries management and marine conservation. The decision taken about the Clyde renders laughable any claims by the Scottish Government about them taking a co-management approach to fisheries management.”
Details of the closure can be found on Marine Scotland’s website.