Under consideration PE1951: Reinstate inshore coastal limit on the use of dredge and trawl fishing gears

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to re-introduce a variation of the historic 3 mile coastal limit on the use of mobile dredge and bottom-trawling fishing gears to support:

  • the recovery of Scotland’s inshore demersal fin-fish population and the wider ecosystem;

  • opportunities to optimise the social, economic and environmental returns within the new spatially managed area; and

  • increases in fishing jobs and the revitalisation of coastal communities.

Previous action taken

We have been lobbying Scottish Government Ministers since 2010, who committed to achieving good environmental status by 2020, however Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 showed dramatic declines in ALL key indicator species.

We have proposed pilot projects with majority local support to demonstrate the benefits of an inshore limit. The rejection of our sustainable fishing pilot by the Scottish Government was the subject of a judicial review.

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation are also part of the Our Seas group, a coalition over 130 organisations calling for the reinstatement of an inshore limit on the use of bottom trawled fishing gear.

Background information

Inshore ecosystems and fish populations have been decimated by the removal of the 3 mile limit, resulting in a 98% decline in fish landings from the Clyde area. This is illustrative of the declines throughout the inshore.

Less than 5% of the inshore is protected from damaging trawl and dredge fisheries. Scotland’s Marine Assessment 2020 showed a 53% loss of flame-shells in Argyll, 90% loss of Serpulid reefs in the Highlands and 99% loss of blue mussels in Moray.

An inshore limit would support economic recovery of coastal communities. This is clearly shown by the Scottish Government’s 2015 report: Assessing the Options for Change.

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation has published economic studies showing that substitution of fishing effort from the nephtops trawl fishery to the nephrops creel fishery will yield substantial economic, social and environmental benefits to Scotland.

The Joint Fisheries Statement, Future catching policy, and the Bute House agreement propose protecting 10% of our inshore from the most destructive types of fishing gears. We feel this is neither sufficient to protect and recover our inshore, nor to meet our national and international obligations.

  • Created by Alistair Bally Philp on behalf of The Scottish Creel Fisherman's Federation
  • Considered from 12 July 2022

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

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