As previously reported, West coast inshore commercial fishers want an “urgent” meeting with Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead after voicing major concerns with what they see as the likely impact of Marine Protected Area (MPA) management measures.
What is it that they don’t like ? Well to better understand the issue we have reviewed the press release from CFA chairman Kenny McNab and provided our understanding of what was actually meant by it (in italics below).
It would appear the key point is covered by his statement “
“It would certainly have been possible for the fishing industry to lobby publicly against the management measures process earlier had we known the full extent of the outcome.”
In other words, had it been fixed in advance we could have pressured to have things our way.
“We were willing and engaged in what we perceived to be a transparent and fair process.”
But now we have we don’t like the result and want to be treated as having the final say.
He added: “We appreciate that the marine area around Scotland is a common resource, with many stakeholders each having their own right to comment and input.”
Which they have and that’s a problem as they didn’t all support the commercial sector’s perceived right to mandate outcomes.
“Fishermen are first-hand stakeholders and sustainable users and guardians of the marine environment.”
This is a very dubious assertion, the Clyde, Mr McNab’s own area is hardly a testament to good guardianship.
“Many industry representatives feel they positively and genuinely participated throughout the MPA consultation process in good faith.”
As did the representatives of many other sectors.
SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said the measures went far beyond the “proportionate and evidential approach” that was promised, and he accused the government of not taking industry input into account.
Well now they know how we feel, no representative of the Commercial Sector seems to bother one whit about taking any other sector’s position into account with respect to Inshore Fisheries Management.
It will be interesting to see to what lengths the Cabinet Secretary will go to to meet the demands of the commercial sector – exemptions, subsidies, special deals ………….. ?