Inshore fisheries pilots

The aim of the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative is to look at alternative forms of inshore fisheries management.

The aim of the Inshore Fisheries Pilots initiative is to look at alternative forms of inshore fisheries management. Marine Scotland sought proposals from the commercial fishing industry for sites to be considered for the pilot scheme, with the intention of investigating:

  • a localised approach to fisheries management, where fishing interests will be involved in developing distinct local arrangements; and

  • the consequences of separating different methods of fishing, such as creeling (e.g. static gear and mobile gear) within specified areas.

Submitted A


  • Inner Sound Management Group: trialling spatial separation of mobile and static gear vessels in the Inner Sound and local management.
  • West Coast RIFG – Mull Project Work Group (Management Group): trialling local management of the Brown crab fishery in a specified area.

  • Orkney Fisheries Association (Fish traps): trialling the use of fish traps to investigate their viability as a sustainable fishing method.

  • Orkney Fisheries Association (Quota management): trialling local real-time distribution of pressure stock quota from a common pool.

  • Orkney Fisheries Association (Scallop management): trialling local management of the King/Queen scallop fisheries within Orkney inshore waters.

  • Outer Hebrides RIFG: trialling local creel limitations within a specified area.

  • Arbroath and Montrose Static Gear Association: trialling local management of creel fishing effort in a specified area.

2017 Consultation

Five of the proposals submitted were brought forward for public consultation, following a review and further discussions with proposers. These proposals were selected based on their practical application and being most in line with the stated aims of the initiative.

The proposals selected were: the Inner Sound of Skye, the Isle of Mull, the Orkney Isles (scallop management), the Outer Hebrides, and Arbroath and Montrose.

2018 Outcome

Following consideration of how consistent the proposals were with the criteria set out in the proposal form guidance and the responses received to the consultation, Marine Scotland will move to put in place the following pilots:

  • A seasonal restriction on mobile gear fishing near Mull

  • A restriction on creel numbers in the Outer Hebrides

  • Zonal fishing management in the waters off Arbroath and Montrose

The proposals for the Inner Sound of Skye and Orkney will not be introduced as a result of this exercise.

Further information on the decision making process is available in the consultation outcome report.

2019 Consultation

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.

A consultation on a revised proposal took place from 17 January 2019 to 11 April 2019. ​View the consultation online.

Inshore Fisheries Pilot - Application Form
Inshore Fisheries Pilot Application Form - Guidance
IFP - Application - Inner Sound Management Group
IFP - Application - Mull Project Work Group
IFP - Application - Orkney FA - Fish Traps
IFP - Application - Orkney FA - Quota Management
IFP - Application - Orkney FA - Scallop Management
IFP - Application - Outer Hebrides RIFG
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