Action plan for Scottish fishing
The Scottish Government has established a five point action plan underpinned by up to £6m of funding for prawn and white fish fishermen in Scotland who have faced tough conditions in recent years.
“Issues such as volatile international markets and environmental factors such as a scarcity of prawns appearing on the grounds have meant many fishermen have been experiencing exceptionally tough times,” said Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead.
“And all this at a time when regulatory changes, such as the transition to discard free fisheries, are just around the corner," he added.
The action plan includes a £3m hardship fund for fishermen who may be facing stresses on their viability and a discard-free prawn fishery trial for vessels by fishing with gears that eliminate whitefish by-catch.
These vessels will have additional time at sea to catch their quotas where necessary. The Government says it will look to secure, through European funding, a guaranteed income as they adapt to new ways of working.
In addition, vessels not joining the discard free trial will be given alternative support, with help to develop new fishing gears and measures to achieve discard reduction targets, while barriers that stop fishermen diversifying into alternative sustainable fisheries will be removed where possible.
Action will also be taken to promote the seafood sector and develop a Scottish brand to support the offshore sector in maximising economic growth.
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