Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM): island communities impact assessment - draft

The draft partial islands communities impact assessment (ICIA) considers the Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) in relation to their impacts on people living in the Islands under Section 8 of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018.

Data and Stakeholders

All commercial fishing vessels are required to provide information on their fishing activities, including port of landing, species caught and fishing gear used. This is the same regardless of location. Each vessel has an administrative district to which it is registered. We can therefore identify what specific vessels are based in the entirely island districts (Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland), as well as those in the mixed island districts (Campbeltown, Oban and Portree) that will be affected by this requirement.

Supplementary information from local fishery offices demonstrates that most of the vessels registered to mixed island districts operate out of the mainland ports in this district. As such, only the island districts should be counted when considering the island impact.

The below table shows the share of affected vessels by district as well as the share of all vessels by district.

District share of Scottish fishing vessels in 2022
Pelagic over 12 metres Scallop Dredgers All registered
Orkney 0% 1% 6%
Shetland 38% 28% 12%
Stornoway 0% 7% 11%
Total for Island Districts 38% 37% 29%
Campbeltown 0% 8%* 7%
Oban 0% 11%* 5%
Portree 0% 0% 5%
Total for mixed Island Districts 0% 20%* 16%
Total for Island and mixed Island Districts 38% 56% 46%

Source: Marine Directorate fisheries data

Note: Mallaig and Ayr which include some islands were excluded due to the low fishing activity present on these islands.

* Most of the vessels registered to mixed island districts operate out of the mainland ports in this district

  • 37% of the scallop dredge fleet are administrated from island districts.
  • The figure is similar for impacted pelagic vessels, with 38% of the fleet administratively located in the island districts.
  • When considering all vessel types around 29% of the whole fleet is administered from island districts, showing a similar distribution to the islands as the scallop and pelagic fleets.
  • Thus, it does not appear that this regulation would unduly impact the islands relative to the rest of Scotland through which vessels are impacted.
  • There are a number of stakeholder groups in operation which support the fishing industry, along with a range of other interest groups including environmental and communities groups with an interest in fisheries and environmental outcomes. There is an overarching stakeholder group in place – Fisheries Management and Conservation Group (FMAC) – which provides strategic input to fisheries policy using a co-management approach.
  • Individual stakeholder groups are established which provide varying levels of support and advice directly to fishers. For the pelagic sector in Scotland this is primarily through the Scottish Pelagic Fisherman’s Association (SPFA).
  • Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups (RIFGs) are non-statutory bodies that work with fishers and Scottish Government to improve the sustainable management of inshore fisheries. There are six RIFGs - Outer Hebrides RIFG, Orkney RIFG, Shetland RIFG, North and East Coast RIFG, North West Coast RIFG and South West Coast RIFG.

There are also a number of groups that support the fishing industry coalesced around specific geographical locations. This includes Shetland Fishermen (which includes the Shetland Fishermen’s Association and the Shetland Fish Producers Organisation); the Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation, Orkney Fish Producers Organisation, Orkney Fisheries Association; Western Isles Fishermen’s Association and West of Scotland Fish Producers Organisation.



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