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Commercial Fishing General News



Pilots for new fisheries management arrangements to help ensure that coastal communities make the most of their waters are to be trialed in the Outer Hebrides, Mull and the east coast of Scotland.

The Scottish Government invited the commercial fishing industry to put forward proposals for alternative management arrangements in Scottish inshore waters last summer. Seven proposals were submitted and, following a selection process and public consultation, three are to be brought forward.

The successful proposals are:

·         Limiting the number of creels that can be used in a section of waters around the Outer Hebrides to test the practicality of managing creel fishing effort

·         Introducing a creel only fishery off Mull for a set period of time to protect an important local brown crab fishery

·         Supporting fishermen to agree and formalise access to fishing grounds off Arbroath and Montrose to test whether fishermen using different gears can negotiate and agree on access arrangements

The trials, which are expected to last for two years, will give insight into the benefits of localised approaches to fisheries management.

Cabinet Secretary for fisheries Fergus Ewing said:

“These pilots will inform our future fisheries strategies and in doing so, help to underpin some of our most fragile fishing communities.

“I am grateful to all those that have participated in this initiative so far, particularly those who took the time to develop proposals. I look forward to following the progress of the trials and using the outcomes to help ensure a sustainable future for Scotland’s inshore fisheries.”

Nick Turnbull, Chairman of the Mull Fishermen’s Association, said:

“We are really pleased that our application has been successful and look forward to working with Marine Scotland on this innovative project. The fishermen in both the mobile and static sector have worked hard to arrive at a compromise and should be congratulated on working together through the West Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group on this proposal.”

Duncan MacInnes, Secretary of the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association, said:

“We welcome the news that the Scottish Government has supported the Outer Hebrides Regional Inshore Fisheries Group’s pilot proposal which should enhance shellfish stocks in the longer term. An estimated 140 static gear vessels operate in the area targeting wrasse, Nephrops, lobster, brown and velvet crab.  These pilots offered a unique opportunity for stakeholders to develop new management measures.”