Working with the UK
The UK Fisheries Act (2020) has established a number of objectives which all UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs) are committed to supporting and delivering. They are:
- The sustainability objective
- The precautionary objective
- The ecosystem objective
- The scientific evidence objective
- The bycatch objective
- The equal access objective
- The national benefit objective, and
- The climate change objective
In the Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS), the Scottish Government, along with the other UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs), will set out policies for achieving those objectives. The JFS will also provide the framework under which we will exercise the powers provided for under that Act. Our Future Fisheries Management Strategy shape our input into the JFS.
The UK Fisheries Act also provides for Fisheries Management Plans which will detail the steps the UKFAs will take to recover and/or maintain stocks at sustainable levels.
As part of the UK Frameworks process, the UKFAs have agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) supported by a number of operational agreements which will detail the day to day relationships between the UKFAs and how they will co-operate on technical and administrative matters, for example on co-ordinating scientific research or compliance activity.
Each UKFA is committed to working collaboratively with the others in order to ensure we deliver on our obligations. In many cases it makes sense to take a pan-UK approach given the mobile nature of the fleet and the living resources in the marine environment. However, there is also recognition that within each of these processes that, due to the differences between us in terms of our fleets and waters, there will be divergence between UKFAs in the policies set out, as is currently the case.
The Scottish Government will engage regularly with the other UKFAs and stakeholders to ensure that through our actions we can achieve the aims and objectives of this strategy whilst respecting our commitments locally and internationally.