The Scottish Government has announced a new initiative whereby Scottish inshore fishing could benefit from up to £2m in additional quota.
Inshore fishers who usually target shellfish will now be able to diversify into new markets and access fishing opportunities worth up to £2 million.
The package aimed at helping the industry during the COVID-19 crisis, means that Scottish vessels will be able to access additional fish quotas around the North Sea and west coast of Scotland.
Scotland’s seafood fishing sector has been one of the hardest hit due to the collapse of the international shellfish market, causing significant challenges for families, businesses and local communities in some of the most remote rural and island communities.
This additional quota will help many of those fishers and includes:
- an additional 800 tonnes of mackerel – 500 tonnes in the North Sea and 300 tonnes in the west coast
- additional demersal quotas including haddock, anglerfish, whiting, pollack, saithe, ling, lemon sole and skates and rays for the North Sea and west of Scotland
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Fishing in our inshore waters for shellfish is a longstanding and lucrative part of our wider fishing industry but the loss of markets practically overnight due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many businesses tying up their vessels.
“With continued uncertainty regarding future market access and demand, this additional £2 million of potential fishing opportunities will provide scope for some vessels to diversify, and help families and businesses in our coastal communities. It also has the potential to ensure that more people in the UK get to enjoy locally and sustainably caught fish from our waters and I hope retailers will play their part in making that happen.
“This support is in addition to the £22.5 million that has already been made available by the Scottish Government to the seafood industry, and which was already the largest support package in the UK.”
The applies to fishing vessels that are not members of a producer organisation and is not restricted by vessel length.
Additional demersal quotas for the North Sea and West of Scotland include:
- North Sea (IV): Haddock (120t), Whiting (260t), Saithe (120t), Lemon Sole (50t), Ling (30t) and Skates & Rays (20t)
- West Coast (VI): Anglerfish (15t), Pollack (25t), Ling (50t) and Skates & Rays (25t)
Access to all of these quotas will continue to be managed by catch limits, which will be adjusted on a regular basis, and under a continuation of otherwise normal management arrangements for the non-sector.
Any unused quota will be allocated later in the year to producer organisations.
Source: Scottish Government