Publication - Corporate report

Future fisheries management: policy intent paper

Our response to the future fisheries management discussion paper and the stakeholder responses which were received as part of that discussion.

Future fisheries management: policy intent paper
8. Support for fair work and promoting fishing as an attractive career of choice

8. Support for fair work and promoting fishing as an attractive career of choice

New entrants

Although not specifically asked about within the discussion paper, a number of stakeholders offered views on the issue of new entrants into the industry, and the need to support new entrants and provide opportunities to them. There were different views about what form this support might best take and to what extent support should be led by industry or government.

Respondents supported the development of a new entrant's scheme, but suggested that further research is conducted on how this scheme would operate, and that barriers of access to quota as well as the cost associated with licences and purchasing boat and equipment are addressed. With regards to making fishing a more attractive career for young entrants, common suggestions included support and apprenticeship schemes, proof of high salary and available year-round work (in coastal communities), promoting it as a progression career, and the development of educational programmes by industry in partnership with educational bodies. Respondents noted the multiple barriers to new entrants which includes expensive licences and training costs.

We will engage with our co-management group FMAC and with the RIFGs during

2021 to consider proposals to support new entrants, including using the tools at our disposal such as licencing and additional quota.


Labour was a heavily discussed theme in the discussion paper, and although there were wide-ranging opinions on certain issues such as access to non-UK workers and migration, there was also strong agreement amongst many stakeholders on a number of issues:

i) That there is a vital need to improve access to labour in the industry;

ii) That there is need to introduce the Scottish Living Wage in the industry;

iii) That there is a real need for young new entrants coming into the industry and the need to make fishing a more attractive career choice.

Stakeholders also raised concerns about working conditions and agreed that equal treatment of all workers, regardless of nationality, was important. Many of the stakeholder responses noted that the health and safety of workers is a major concern and 'deserves crucial consideration'.

We have already pressed the UK Government for better treatment of non EEA nationals working in fishing, and for freedom of movement to be maintained for EU nationals working offshore and onshore. We will continue to do so. In the short term, we will work with industry, businesses and stakeholders to encourage more people already living and working here to apply for settled status. We will continue to press for devolution of migration powers. We will engage with fishing businesses to raise awareness of and promote fair treatment of workers. We will also seek to ensure that all aspects of fishing feature as part of Scottish Government employability programmes and activity, especially for young people.