Scottish Fisheries Minister, Mairi Gougeon, says the Scottish Government is looking for Westminster's intervention on fuel cost crisis Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon has said the Scottish government has no plans to introduce a 3nm limit

Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon has said the Scottish government has no plans to introduce a 3nm limit

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and the Tourism, Mairi Gougeon has told Scottish Labour MSP for Central Scotland, Monica Lennon, that the government has no plans to introduce a three-nautical mile limit despite pressure from OurSeas Coalition.

The OurSeas Coalition, which consists of groups representing divers, marine tourism businesses, sea anglers and water sports enthusiasts, have been badgering the Scottish public to reintroduce the 3nm limit which was introduced under the Sea Fisheries Act 1883, which prohibited bottom-trawling on these inshore grounds. The coalition also wants to ban scallop dredging, an important source of income for local fishermen. The coalition has called for the government to replace these fishing methods with static fishing gear such as creels saying that creel caught langoustines, for example, make better money on seafood markets.

Fishing groups such as the Clyde Fishermen’s Trust has rejected claims from the environmental NGO stating that their environmental reports are manufactured in favour of their campaign and they have been skewing statistics in their favour.

Despite the OurSeas Coalition campaign to remove bottom-fishing gear such as trawling and dredging, Minister Gougeon has refused the pressure to capitulate to the demands of the NGOs when the Scottish Labour MSP for Central Scotland asked in a written question:

“To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to research carried out by Survation on behalf of OurSeas Coalition, which reportedly found that 56% of people in Scotland would support banning bottom trawling and scallop dredging within three-nautical miles of Scotland’s shoreline.”

The Minister relied:

“We know that some stakeholders would like to see a three-mile limit restricting mobile fishing gear introduced. The Scottish Government has been clear that we have no plans to do so.

“Such blanket spatial restrictions are not consistent with an evidence-based approach, do not embrace the benefits of new technology and are inconsistent with the nuanced approach outlined in our 2020-2030 Fisheries Management Strategy.

“We have already begun to develop our approach, taking account of the complex ecology and habitats, as well as the different types of fishing and how they interact with the marine environment.”

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Gougeon says no plans to impose 3nm limit on Scottish fishermen

by editor time to read: 6 min