On 25 May 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, announced the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative  . The aim of this initiative is to explore alternative approaches to managing inshore fisheries, in order to ensure our coastal communities are making the most of our waters.
The pilots will investigate two different methods of fisheries management:
- A localised approach to fisheries management, where fishing interests are involved in developing distinct local arrangements
- The impact of separating different methods of fishing, such as creeling and trawling, within specified areas.
The commercial fishing industry was invited to submit proposals for sites that should be considered for the initiative and following an assessment by Marine Scotland, five different proposals have been brought forward for public consultation. The intention is that, following this consultation, new management arrangements will be introduced at two sites for a two year period.
The closing date for responses is 22 February 2018.