New powers to curb illegal fishing in force –

New powers to curb illegal fishing in force Published:  02 September, 2006

NEW powers to help tackle illegal fishing in Scotland are now in force.

Measures in the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act will allow the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) to use its powers to detect, prevent and deter illegal fishing in areas managed under local agreements, known as Regulating Orders.

The legislation extends these powers to the local management organisations also enabling them to enforce regulations themselves.

There are currently two Regulating Orders in Scotland operating licensed fisheries on the Solway Firth and around Shetland.

Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie said:

“We are committed to creating sustainable, profitable and well managed fisheries in Scotland.

“Regulating Orders can help us to achieve this goal by involving local bodies in the management of their fisheries.

“These new provisions will help to address illegal fishing to the benefit of shellfish stocks, the many honest fishermen and the communities they support.

“I looking forward to seeing the benefits of improved enforcement in the two Regulating Orders we have to date and those we may have in the future, including as a result of IFGs coming on stream.”

Chief Executive of the SFPA Paul Du Vivier said,

“We welcome these new provisions and look forward to working in partnership with local management organisations to enhance enforcement around Shetland and on the Solway Firth.”

The Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation said,

“We are very pleased that these new provisions for the enforcement of Regulating Orders are now in place.

“We look forward to the SFPA taking up its enforcement role tackling illegal fishing in the Shetland Regulating Order and helping to ensure the long term viability of the fishery.

“Effective enforcement of the Shetland Regulating Order will help the SSMO manage and regulate the fishery to ensure its sustainability for the benefit of future generations.

Cllr Jock Purdie, Chairman of the Solway Shellfish Management Association said,

“Illegal fishing for cockles in the Solway has caused particular concern over recent months.

“These new provisions are therefore very timely. We look forward to working closely with the SFPA using these new powers to help prevent such illegal fishing in future.

“An effectively enforced Solway Regulating Order will help with our efforts to ensure the long term viability of the fishery for the future.” 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.