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Promoting Best Practice for Inshore Fisheries: a consultation on measures to tackle gear conflict in Scottish inshore waters

Promoting Best Practice for Inshore Fisheries: a consultation on measures to tackle gear conflict in Scottish inshore waters

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

ISBN: 9781785448867

Gear conflict is a longstanding and complex problem in Scottish inshore waters. A Marine Scotland consultation explored spatial separation (particularly in known hotspots), vessel location monitoring systems, websites to detail where static gear had been set, codes of conduct, administrative restrictions and regulation of unlicensed fishermen. This is the outcome report.

Executive Summary

The majority of fishermen from competing sectors co-operate well on a day to day basis but incidents of gear conflict have existed for decades without any decisive action taken by government. When gear conflict occurs it is very difficult for an enforcement body to prove that an offence has been committed. For example, while creel operators may allege that mobile skippers have deliberately trawled through their gear, proving that was their intent has proved impossible. The aim of this suite of measures is to enhance reporting and recording to prevent incidents occurring in the first place and to improve deterrence against deliberate acts of gear vandalism and theft.