Future fisheries: management strategy - 2020 to 2030

Through the delivery of our Future Fisheries Management Strategy we set our vision for Scotland to be a world class fishing nation, delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries management.

Our 12 point action plan

This action plan sets out how we will deliver the aspirations, principles and outcomes detailed within this strategy, alongside delivery of our international commitments and those detailed as part of the UK Fisheries Act. They link directly to the delivery of key Scottish Government priorities, particularly around:

  • Economy: We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy.
  • Environment: We value, enjoy, protect and enhance our environment.
  • Fair Work and Business: We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs and fair work for everyone.
  • Human Rights: We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination.
  • International: We are open, connected and make a positive contribution internationally.
  • Poverty: We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally.
  • Communities: We live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
  • Safer working: we work collaboratively to support training, awareness and improvements to the workplace that ensure safety of our fishermen is at the forefront of everyone's actions and behaviours.

1. We will promote fishing as an attractive and safe career of choice, with a focus on improving safety standards, fair work, supporting new entrants into the sector, and equal treatment regardless of national origin or gender. We will not tolerate illegal treatment of any worker in any part of fishing industry.

2. We will secure the resilience of the fishing industry, working with stakeholders to strengthen links to local and global markets, supporting diversification and exploring new fishing opportunities.

3. We will increase the benefit from fishing to local areas through our policies around allocation of additional quota, ensuring quota is in the hands of active fishers, and increasing the volume of fish landed into Scotland including through the introduction of a Scottish economic link licence condition in early 2022.

4. We will support delivery of a strong relationship between the fishing industry and local communities, with strengthened links to local supply chains, support for consumers to buy local / Scottish and recognising the importance of inward migration for remote and coastal communities.

5. We will address issues around the shared marine space linking with wider developments through the Blue Economy Action Plan, considering how fishing interests can work alongside others marine users including offshore renewables.

6. We will strengthen our co-management processes and support transparent and responsive management to a local level wherever possible, in particular by strengthening the RIFG network. As part of this, we will always consider local community impact as part of our decision making process.

7. We will deliver a robust licensing regime to manage domestic and foreign vessels fishing in Scottish waters and will improve quota management arrangements for the non-sector fleet which are not administered by a Fish Producer Organisation or a Quota Management Group.

8. We will strengthen our quota management processes supported by the right management groups and delivery mechanisms, and through expanding the use of TACs where appropriate.

9. We will improve accountability and confidence in our seafood products and fishing operations, supported by a robust compliance regime, making full use of existing tools and new available technology, including REM and vessel tracking solutions, to deliver compliance and improve our knowledge base, ensuring that our decisions are grounded in the best available scientific advice and that we fish within sustainable limits.

10. We will deliver a robust Catching Policy, in partnership with our stakeholders, which links stock management with responsive and proportionate technical and spatial measures, which delivers a reduction in waste and which encourages compliance through appropriate enforcement actions, including the application of penalties where appropriate.

11. We will work with our stakeholders to deliver an ecosystem-based approach to management, including considering additional protections for spawning and juvenile congregation areas and restricting fishing activity or prohibiting fishing for species which are integral components of the marine food web, such as sandeels.

12. We will take action to understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change on our seas, including supporting delivery of the Scottish Government's net zero targets including by reducing vessel emissions and encouraging shorter supply chains. In addition we will support and encourage sustainable waste management in our fleets, growing our circular economy and reducing marine litter.


Email: ffm@gov.scot

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