Electronic monitoring among range of actions.
Electronic monitoring and tracking of vessels is part of a package of measures being taken to protect Scotland’s inshore fleet.
The programme, which will monitor boats in inshore waters, will help establish local fisheries management arrangements and empower local fishers and their coastal communities.
New regulations will also be introduced for marking creels – reducing the use of plastic items that can become detached and create marine litter.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Scotland’s inshore fisheries are one of our most valuable community assets. Fishers and their businesses make a significant contribution to the economic and cultural fabric of our coastal communities, which is why we are taking steps to protect this valuable resource.”
Other measures to enhance inshore fisheries include:
• establishment of an Inner Sound Local Fisheries Advisory Group to better manage the waters east of Skye and Raasay
• a new website to allow fishers to better interact with their local Regional Inshore Fisheries Group
• continuing work to reduce gear conflict and better manage disagreements between fishers
Technology to support the monitoring programme will be installed by Woodsons of Aberdeen. Work is expected to start in April, beginning with the scallop dredge fleet.
Mr Ewing added:
“Modernising our approach to vessel monitoring and tracking will give us better insight into the inshore fleet’s profile - how it operates, how it adapts and what matters most to its sustainable development.
“This is a proportionate approach founded on established technology. It will put Scotland at the forefront internationally in how we use innovation to better manage our waters.”
A Scottish Statutory Instrument will be laid in the Scottish Parliament this spring regulating the marking of creels.
New chairs have been appointed to the mainland Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups. Jennifer Mouat will be chair of North and East, with Simon Macdonald chairing the West Group.
The new website, rifg.scot, will go live in March
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