New strategy to promote sustainability.
A new 12-point action plan will support Scotland’s ambition to be a world class fishing nation and ensure responsible and sustainable fisheries management.
Scotland’s Future Fisheries Management Strategy has been developed in partnership with key stakeholders to ensure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the inshore, onshore and marine fisheries sector whilst also putting in place the right protections for fish stocks and the rich marine environment.
The fishing industry is a key sector in Scotland that has faced many challenges in recent years, including from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Scotland’s Future Fisheries Management Strategy reaffirms our commitment to meeting and where possible exceeding international standards, to being a competent and collaborative partner, and to championing Scotland’s fishing industry and our marine environment.
“We know fisheries can operate with consensus and under a shared set of values that works for everyone and the 12-point action plan will drive this forward, reinforcing the fact that fish are a national asset. It commits us to promoting fishing as an attractive and safe career of choice, increasing the benefits of fishing to our coastal communities, delivering a robust Catching Policy and strengthening our quota management processes.
“I believe the strategy will secure transformational change for Scotland’s fisheries over the coming years. It will work as part of our Blue Economy Action Plan to help marine sectors and coastal communities recover from the COVID-19 crisis and grow sustainably.
“I am grateful to all our partners in the fisheries sector who we have worked closely with to develop this world-leading, sustainable fisheries management strategy with inclusive economic growth at its core.”
Elaine Whyte at the Communities Inshore Fisheries Alliance said:
"We welcome the release of Scotland's Fisheries Management Strategy 2020-2030. It's 12-point action plan offers an inclusive way ahead for fishing communities by building on current strengths and developing new sustainable potential.
“It's clear a range of coastal communities interests have been considered as the strategy touches on all the topics which might reasonably be expected such as catching policy, co-management, science and environmental issues, but also rightly places importance on socioeconomic link and resilience, rural workforce shortages and the cultural significance of fishing to the nation.
"We look forward to the implementation of the strategy and thank the Scottish Government for their dedication to a balanced national process.”
The strategy builds on the previous work of the National Discussion Paper
A consultation on how additional quota should be distributed in Scotland in 2021 has also been launched and will run until 15 January.
In addition, a new Regional Inshore Fisheries Group website has been launched as part of the work to support inshore fisheries.
The Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries in the 0-6 nautical mile zone of Scottish waters, and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments.