Inner Sound of Skye inshore fisheries pilot: consultation

We are seeking views on revised proposal for fisheries management measures in the Inner Sound of Skye.

Background and Introduction

The Scottish Government launched the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative in July 2017 with the aim of exploring alternative approaches to managing inshore fisheries.

The initiative seeks to explore two approaches to fisheries management:

  • a more localised approach where fishing interests are central to the development of fisheries management arrangements; and
  • spatial separation of fishing operations, such as static (creeling) and mobile (trawling) within specified areas.

Industry was invited to submit proposals. Seven applications were received with five opened to public consultation between 30 November 2017 and 22 February 2018.

Analysis of the consultation responses concluded that three sites would offer learning opportunities around the above approaches. The following trials have been selected to be trialled over a two-year period:

  • a seasonal restriction on mobile gear fishing near Mull;
  • a restriction on creel numbers in the Outer Hebrides; and
  • zonal fishing management in the waters off Arbroath and Montrose.

The two proposals not taken forward concerned introducing a permanent prohibition on mobile gear fishing in the Inner Sound of Skye and management of the local scallop fisheries in Orkney.

Further information, including the Consultation and Response is available at

2018 developments

Following the outcome of the 2017 consultation, further representations were made to the Scottish Government calling for the Inner Sound proposal to be reconsidered.

The original proposal was not taken forward for a number of reasons, including the potential economic impact on mobile gear vessels, displacement of effort and health and safety implications.

Through engagement with the North West Responsible Fishing Association Marine Scotland agreed to revisit the original proposal to establish if there were any unique learning opportunities to be explored around testing local fisheries management measures associated with the Nephrops fishery in the Inner Sound of Skye.

2019 Proposal – Inner Sound of Skye

Marine Scotland wants to hear from those likely to be directly or indirectly impacted by the measures in this revised proposal.

  • Marine Scotland would like to hear your views on the potential impacts – both positive and negative – of the overall proposal and individual measures and whether you agree they should be taken forward.
  • Please stipulate your views and suggestions relating to all aspects of this consultation.

Contents of this Consultation Document

1. The parties who have proposed the pilot measures

2. Analysis of fishing activity and suggested eligibility criteria

3. The aims of the proposal

4. How the pilot will be monitored

5. The expected benefits from the proposal

6. Proposed pilot fisheries management measures

Further Reading

We would recommend that you consider the stock assessments published annually by Marine Scotland Science for background information on stock health. However, it should be noted that stock assessments, where available, are carried out on a larger scale than the area being proposed for this inshore fisheries pilot.

The most recent stock assessment publication is available at


  • The closing date for consultation responses to be received is Thursday 28 February 2019.
  • If the pilot does go ahead it is intended to be operational from 1 April 2019.


Email: Inshore Fisheries and Coastal Communities Team

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