Next steps to ensure sustainable fisheries in Scotland.
Proposals to introduce electronic tracking and monitoring technology for small fishing vessels will be consulted on as part of package of new fisheries measures announced today.
The consultation proposes that vessel tracking devices will be required by Scottish commercial fishing vessels under 12 metres in length wherever they operate, and by all vessels of the that size when they operate in Scottish waters. It also asks whether Remote Electric Monitoring systems (REM) – which are more sophisticated than vessel tracking – should be required on some inshore vessels.
Rolling out such technology across Scotland’s fishing fleet would show that vessels are operating sustainably and within the law, increasing consumer confidence in Scottish seafood. They would also provide valuable data which would help fisheries to be managed more sustainably and informing marine planning, benefiting Scotland’s fishing industry and the marine environment.
Environment Minister Gillian Martin, who met with fishing industry representatives in Peterhead today, said:
“These proposals will support the sustainable management and development of our marine environment – the next step in delivering a blue economy that benefits our communities, economy and environment. I encourage the inshore sector and others with an interest to continue to engage with us and to take part in the consultation on vessel monitoring.
“Government, industry and communities all have a shared interest and commitment to a healthy marine environment. Open dialogue and constructive working of the sort that has helped to develop these proposals will ensure that we benefit from the expertise of the fishing industry. Cooperation and co-management will ensure that both Scotland’s fishing industry and our marine environment can thrive sustainably.”
The Scottish Government has also published the outcome of two consultations:
These announcements represent the next steps in Scotland’s Fisheries Management Strategy - which has been developed in partnership with the fishing industry and other stakeholders. The package of measures within the Strategy helps place Scotland in a leading international position to deliver sustainable fishing.
The inshore vessel tracking and monitoring consultation is open until 7 November 2023 and can be completed on the Scottish Government consultation hub.
The outcome reports of the consultation on REM can be read at:
The outcome reports of the consultation on Future Catching Policy can be read at:
The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-12 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.