Wild Wrasse harvesting - proposed mandatory fishing measures: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses and the outcome to the Wild Wrasse harvesting: consultation on proposed new mandatory fishing measures.

Executive Summary

This document provides an analysis of responses and the outcome to the 'Wild Wrasse Harvesting: Consultation on Proposed New Mandatory Fishing Measures'. A copy of the consultation can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/wild-wrasse-harvesting-consultation-proposed-new-mandatory-fishing-measures/pages/1/.

The consultation sought views on the introduction of mandatory fishing measures by Marine Scotland to provide appropriate fisheries management of the wild wrasse fishery.

Summary of responses

There were 154 responses to the consultation. A broad cross-section of stakeholders were represented from a range of interests including fishermen, salmon farm operators, environmental groups, industry representative groups and members of the public.


Following careful consideration of appropriate future management measures of the wild wrasse fishery, including the responses received to the consultation, Marine Scotland will move to put in place the following mandatory measures:

  • The closed season will continue to run from 1st December – 1st May as proposed;
  • The minimum and maximum landing sizes wrasse will be implemented as proposed, see Table 1.
  • There will be controls over creels, namely: -
    • Only creels specifically designed to target and catch live wrasse and ensure their welfare will be used
    • Otter exclusion devices, such as a fixed-eye aperture, will be used at the entrance to the trap and creels must feature escape hatches
    • Creels will be lifted at a maximum rate of six metres per minute
    • Creels should not be deployed when the water temperature is >17°C
  • The maximum use of 250 creels per vessel will be made mandatory. 
  • Fishers targeting wrasse will be required to accept observers if requested subject to operational practicalities. 
  • Marine Scotland will take forward the use of proportionate tracking and monitoring (REM) on wrasse vessels as part of our Future Fisheries Management policy.
  • Marine Scotland will implement the new measures by introducing a licence condition requiring wrasse fishers to obtain a letter of derogation to access the wild wrasse fishery. The eligibility criteria will include evidence of a track record in fishing with creels for wrasse in the 12 months prior to 10 March 2020 and an appropriate contract with a salmon farm operator. We will work with the fishing sector and the aquaculture industry to develop a fair recruitment system to enable new entrants to the fishery and a process for considering appeals.


Email: Inshore@gov.scot

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