Outer Hebrides creel limitation pilot: research and evaluation

Presents the findings of the survey made into the operational implications and socio-economic impacts of the Outer Hebrides Creel Limitation Pilot on fishers.

Processors Opinions

From the series of twenty-eight interviews conducted, two were from owners of processing facilities, interviewed with an adapted version of the semi-structured interview questions that had been tailored for their context to see how the CLP may have impacted their business. For the sake of anonymity, the names of the processing plants have not been disclosed. Both processors had very different responses:

Processor One

Processor One transports lots of different fish, predominantly trawl-caught, across the UK and exports to Europe. All their Nephrops are caught in trawls though they buy lobster and crab seasonally for visitors to their shop. They host over thirty employees though are still operating at half capacity because of Brexit and changes in legislation. Processor One had not noticed any changes to the quantity or quality of trawl-caught Nephrops, nor had they observed any changes in their operational patterns or economics as a result of the CLP. They had heard anecdotally that crabs are scarce though their main concern was around changes in legislation because of Brexit, particularly as Europe is the main beneficiary of their business.

Processor Two

The target species for this processor are lobster, brown and velvet crab, Nephrops, crayfish, cockles and winkles. Processor Two exports the majority of catch to Spain, employing a smaller number of casual and full-time employees. They had noticed an improvement in the quality and quantity of Nephrops and attributed that to having less effort on the grounds, however, they are concerned about policing, not for the creel limits, but for the landing of individuals below MLS. Processor Two believes that the improvement in Nephrops landings has benefitted their economic situation and enables them to meet demands. They are predominantly concerned with rising costs, both for their fishers with rising creel prices, but also running costs of their operations, such as the of running the freezers. Processor Two would like to see the pilot extended to the other side of the Outer Hebrides to prevent people from displacing their fishing effort to the west.

Other concerns

Fishers that were involved in the interviews were asked what their biggest concern was as a fisher at the time of interview to see if the CLP could help to address some of those concerns. Their responses have been coded and can be found in Table 8. The concern that arose most frequently was that of bad weather, preventing fishers from going to sea, followed by other fishers' tendency to be greedy and oppose sustainability.


Email: inshore@gov.scot

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