Silent seas and harbours without fisheries reforms

greensThe Scottish Greens argue that Scotland’s seas risk irreversible decline without bolder action to reform fishery management and discards policy.

In a recent independent report to the Scottish Government, only 4 of the 12 Scottish fish stocks assessed are without immediate concern, and between 2003 and 2011 quotas set by the European Council were on average 47% higher than that advocated by scientists.*

The Greens back proposals for greater regionalisation of fisheries management but warn that industrial-scale ships are doing little for fishing jobs and that there is a culture of disrespect for the scientific advice needed to revive stocks and on discards, they want to see a wider ban on the discarding of all sea life that is netted through fishing.

Figures show that while the number of boats in the Scottish pelagic fleet has fallen dramatically over the last twenty years (from 54 to 24), the tonnage and engine capacity of the fleet has more that doubled.**

According to Green MSP Alison Johnstone : “Fishing rights should not be based on those who fished most in the past but given to those who can fish the most sustainably today. Industrial fisheries, and their loud lobby, are wrecking our fisheries. While the number of fishing boats has halved over 20 years, the fleet tonnage has more than doubled and we now have mammoth industrial ships that do little to support fishing jobs.

Well all this is actually well known and has been for years, the key question of course, is other than just do a bit of headline grabbing, exactly what do the Greens intend to do about it ?

*Figure from European Commission in SPICe briefing pg. 10


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Category: Government

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