Fisheries and Climate Change survey using opinions from key stakeholders has identified evidence gaps in Scottish wild capture fishing sector Scottish opposition HPMAs

The SFF has welcomed SNP leadership candidate, Kate Forbes’, opposition to the introduction of HPMAs in Scottish waters. Photo: Marine Scotland

The CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has welcomed Scottish National Party leadership candidate, Kate Forbes’ opposition to the introduction of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in Scottish waters.

Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the SFF, said: “The SFF welcomes SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes’ opposition to the introduction of HPMAs, which would have a catastrophic effect on Scotland’s fisheries sector, and echoes her sentiment that the Scottish Government’s proposals are a good example of how not to do government.

“Our industry has a strong track record of supporting marine conservation initiatives when they’re done well, but these proposals lack rigour and substance, and are based on politics, not science.

“We hope the other candidates – and indeed all politicians – recognise the complete lack of any robust ecological case for these stringent conservation measures on top of Scotland’s existing MPA network, without any evident consideration of the cumulative ‘spatial squeeze’ alongside other developments including massive expansion of offshore wind farms. Collectively, fishing risks being excluded from as much as half of Scotland’s waters by 2050.

“Instead of letting their blue economy proposals be hijacked by the Greens to push fishing into the red, the Government needs to have much better dialogue with those whose livelihoods depend entirely on our marine resources. It is vital that policy making is evidence-based rather than just reflective of the views of those who may be passionate about the planet but often seem to have little understanding of reality or science.”

Source: Press Release

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