Making Waves

wavesThe latest Fair Isle Marine Environment & Tourism (FIMETI) Newsletter No 10, March 2013, ‘Making Waves’ is now also available to view on-line via the Newsletters link on the FIMETI website.

In it’s introduction they say –

For centuries Fair Islanders have looked after their resources – not for any altruistic reason, but because they had no other option. Greater mobility and changes in marine legislation in the 20th century meant that others now had access to a resource which had previously been largely for local use. The new user groups were free from the constraints of safeguarding stock for future use, because for them Fair Isle waters were only part of a wider resource. The islanders could no longer compete and the 20th century saw a wholesale and difficult shift from a subsistence economy with fishing at its heart, to a more mixed economy.

What has not changed, however, is that the new economy still relies strongly on our ties with the sea. From traditional Shetland yoal boat-building to the tourist trade, the key element for those earning a living on the isle remains a healthy marine environment and maintenance of the marine resource.

The Fair Isle community is very concerned that we are effectively excluded from having a say in the control and management of our marine resource  –  a resource which has sustained us for centuries and which remains at the heart of our economic and social life. The Fair Isle community recognises the imperative need to safeguard our resources, terrestrial and marine, for future generations. Our concerns are social and economic as much as environmental. A healthy, pristine environment is an essential ingredient for our future well-being.

And this of course is what many communities and recreational marine users such as sea anglers are finding themselves in – being effectively excluded from having a say in the control and management of their local marine environment thanks to fisheries managers and politicians failing to protect their interests and giving total precedence to the commercial sector.

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