Chapter 3 - Roles and responsibilities at national and local levels
32. The WFR recommended the establishment of a national unit within Government to fulfil national functions. We agree and in line with the principle that form should follow function will consider the appropriate composition, leadership and location of the national unit within Government after we have heard views, and made decisions, about the functions which it should undertake.
Balance of roles and responsibilities
33. The new management system must have an appropriate balance in the roles and responsibilities at national and local level; further, that balance should be clearly understood in order to promote strong joint-working and clear accountability and to minimise potential for conflict. The WFR report discusses the functions which might best be delivered at each level, and this chapter of the consultation seeks views on that balance, and on the relationship between the two management levels.
34. Scottish Ministers have international, European and domestic obligations in relation to wild fisheries. Many of these obligations are set out in law; others relate to the development and delivery of policy. The management system for wild fisheries in Scotland needs to be capable of ensuring these obligations are met, and are seen to be being met. As discussed in the WFR report, this does not mean that Ministers should seek to micro-manage from the centre; rather, building on the strengths inherent in local management a two-tier management system is proposed which combines national leadership, strategic focus, co-ordination and regulation with locally-driven delivery by a network of local fishery management organisations. We consider this approach provides a means by which national and local outcomes can be pursued and should be central to the new system.
35. Table 1 below sets out proposed main functions of the national and local management bodies. The list is not exhaustive but intended to give an indication of the balance between the roles and responsibilities which are likely to be required at local and national level.
Q1. Do you agree with the balance of functions as set out in Table 1?
Q2. Do you consider that any main functions are missing? If so, please state what these are. Do you think that any of these functions might be best fulfilled at a different level?
Table 1: Proposed main functions of the national and local management bodies