Share your views on sustainable fisheries management
The Marine Scotland directorate of the Scottish Government currently has two consultations open as part of the 10-year Future Fisheries Management Strategy to deliver on sustainable fisheries management in Scotland.
Stakeholders have until 7 June 2022 to share their views on fishing activities and electronic monitoring activity in Scotland’s waters through the respective Future Catching Policy (FCP) consultation and Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) consultation.
The FCP consultation outlines proposals to Ensure that fishing vessels operating in Scottish waters are undertaking sustainable fishing practices. and aims to address long-standing issues around bycatch (unintentional catching of specific fish and other marine species) to minimise environmental and ecological damage.
We will work in partnership with industry, scientists and environmental groups to co-develop management measures to tackle discarding, and to reduce catches of unwanted fish and avoid bycatch of sensitive marine species, such as seabirds, seals and dolphins, preserving them for future generations. The FCP consultation also seeks views on additional management measures for creels, gillnet and longline fisheries.
The REM consultation outlines proposals on the use of imagery, sensors and GPS to monitor fishing activity.
The consultation for certain fishing vessels (scallop dredge and pelagic) seeks views on the implementation of an enhanced and independent level of monitoring on board . This consultation also seeks views on options for further rollout to other parts of the fleet.
REM will ensure that there will be increased transparency and accountability of fishing activity, but also that Scotland’s seafood products are of the highest quality and fished sustainably.
Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to being a world-leader in fisheries management. We take our role as guardian of Scotland’s natural marine environment seriously.
“The Future Catching Policy will build on our current approach, signalling a step change in the way in which unsustainable fishing practices are tackled.
“Remote electronic monitoring will provide us with enhanced technology in order to monitor fishing activity for certain parts of the fishing fleet, adding to our rich scientific base and delivering confidence and accountability for the consumer.
“We are demonstrating Scotland’s leadership in fisheries management; cementing our credentials as responsible and sustainable fisheries managers, and signalling to all fishing vessels operating in Scottish waters that we can and must do better in order to protect and enhance our fantastic marine environment, for now and the future.”
- Future Fisheries Management (FFM) Strategy
- Discards are described as fish, often dead or dying, that are returned to the sea during commercial fishing operations. As part of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) catches of quota fish may no longer be discarded. Instead, all of the catch must be landed and counted against quota. The FCP builds on the approach established under the CFP and ensures that we can maintaining and enhance the standards that are already in place
- Both consultations close on 7 June. We will then carry out analysis of the responses and seek to publish a consultation report outlining next steps within 12 weeks of the end of the consultation