Fisheries Management and Conservation Group (FMAC)

Overview

FMAC, which replaces the Scottish Fisheries Council (SFC),  builds on the Conservation Credits Steering Group (CCSG) and is a decision-making body and discussion forum concerned with all issues connected to sea fisheries management.

FMAC is chaired by Marine Scotland and has representatives from:

  • fishing industry representative bodies
  • fish producer organisations
  • environmental organisations
  • Marine Scotland Policy and Science

Remit of FMAC

Having regard to the high level objectives of the National Marine Plan, the Fisheries Management and Conservation Group (FMAC) will take decisions and, on request, make recommendations to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on matters connected to:

  • The development of national policies and legislation about the management and conservation of sea and inshore fisheries (previous SIFAG functions transferred to FMAC), and impacts on the marine environment so as to ensure a viable Scottish fishing industry and the maintenance of sustainable fishing communities;
  • The allocation and management of fishing opportunities available to vessels managed by the Scottish Government, seeking where possible to align management measures with economic objectives identified by the Scottish Seafood Partnership;
  • The development of measures designed to better conserve  and sustainably exploit stocks of sea fish (recognising that maximum effect will be gained through international cooperation), and to enable fishermen and other persons with an interest to contribute to such development; and,
  • The development of objectives for and approaches to international negotiations across a range of fisheries, seeking improved international partnership arrangements.

Mode of operation

Marine Scotland will chair the group, determine initial membership and provide a secretary.  Changes to membership will be made with the agreement of the group, and will be subject to general review after 18 months.  Members may nominate a substitute but may not invite additional attendees, although the group may agree to invite individuals to present on specific topics.

It is expected that FMAC will in general meet on four occasions annually.  Meetings will be aligned where possible with negotiation and management timetables.  FMAC may also convene time limited subject specific working groups, which will consider issues and make recommendations to the main group.

Marine Scotland and members may add items to the agenda and make management proposals, and will do so by notifying the Secretariat in writing.  Where urgent matters arise, Marine Scotland may, with the agreement of members, deal with them through correspondence.

Members are expected to represent the views of their organisation(s) in relation to the issues under discussion.  For this reason, Marine Scotland will seek to circulate papers not less than four weeks in advance of meetings where a decision of the group is being sought, so as to allow time for consultation and to settle a view to bring to FMAC.

The chair will in general seek to take decisions through consensus but objections and the identity of those objecting, will be recorded in the minutes, on request.  Members will be expected to explain, and where possible support, decisions taken.  Nothing in this remit affects the status of The Scottish Ministers as the Fisheries Administration in relation to fishing vessels registered at a port in Scotland and in relation to the Scottish zone of British Fishery Limits.

Meeting papers and minutes will be published on the Scottish Government website (once the minute has been agreed) and an annual bulletin summarising the group’s business will be placed on the website each year.

Documents