Inshore fisheries group pilots get the green light –

Inshore fisheries group pilots get the green light Published:  03 December, 2007

Richard Lochhead

“NEW and innovative” groups designed to ensure that inshore fisheries and their communities have a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable future were announced today by the Scottish Government.

The Inshore Fisheries Group (IFG) pilots, backed by £300,000 funding, will run in the Outer Hebrides, the Clyde and the South East of Scotland.

The fishing industry will run the pilots with the help of coordinators who will be funded by the Scottish Government.

Speaking at a meeting of the West Coast fishing industry in Glasgow, Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I am pleased to announce our commitment to setting up Inshore Fisheries Groups (IFGs) in Scotland. We have one of the largest coastlines in Europe and extensive inshore fishing grounds.

“We must ensure that the inshore fishing industry have the appropriate mechanisms to make sure their voice is heard. The aim of Inshore Fisheries Groups is to do just that.

“The pilots will start in the New Year and will be evaluated on a continuous basis. We will continue to work with the Scottish Inshore Fisheries Advisory Group throughout this process.

“I believe IFGs can and will create a vibrant future for this important fisheries industry and the fishing communities they sustain.”

Mr Lochhead also announced work that will be taken forward early in 2008 to develop strategies for scallops and crab and lobster industries. He commented: “I am also pleased to announce the forthcoming development of a Scottish Scallop Management Strategy. The Strategy will be in line with our overarching aims of ensuring a sustainable and profitable fishing industry. It will be a multi-prong strategy aimed at addressing concerns over regulation, stock levels, marketing and the marine environment whilst at the same time ensuring a high quality product maximises the returns from catch.

“The long awaited review of the Scottish scallop technical conservation legislation will form an integral part of the Strategy. Our support for product traceability initiatives will also complement this work. We will set up a Working Group within the Sea Fisheries Council, drawing from the existing Scottish Scallop Advisory Group to steer the work. The first meeting of the Group is likely to be held early in the new year.

“The crab and lobster fisheries are also tremendously important for many Scottish inshore fishing communities. The fisheries have done well in recent years, but there is more that can be done to fulfill the sector’s real potential for further growth. Early in 2008, we will convene a new group to take forward a crab and lobster strategy for Scotland. The group will comprise industry representatives from the catching and processing sectors, scientists, Seafood Scotland and other relevant bodies.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.