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Clyde Fishermen’s Association (CFA) has thanked Argyll and Bute Council for backing fishing communities over Scottish Government HPMA plans

The Clyde Fishermen’s Association has thanked the Argyll and Bute Council for backing fishing communities in the fight over Scottish Government plans to introduce highly protected marine areas (HPMAs) .

Under the Bute House Agreement, which cemented the coalition between the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party, it was proposed that ten percent of Scotland’s waters would be turned over to HPMAs.

The proposal would have devastating effects on the inshore fleet, aquaculture and tourism, as these no take zones would limit the ability of locals to make a living from the sea, wiping out hundreds of years of tradition and jobs in coastal areas. Fishing organisations like the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, the Shetland Fishermen’s Association and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation had been calling on people to take part in the Scottish Government’s consultation process, which closed on Monday 17 April.

The fear of HPMAs led Scottish folk group, Skipinnish, to write and release a song entitled ‘The Clearances Again’, which highlighted the devastation the introduction of HPMAs would have on their communities.

Acknowledging the support from Argyll & Bute Council, the Clyde Fishermen’s Association said, “The support of our local council is invaluable”.

In a press release last might entitled, “Council responds to the Scottish Government Consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs)”, it says:

Argyll and Bute Council has responded to the Scottish Government Consultation on Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council:

“We remain committed to tackling the effects of climate change as we all work towards achieving net zero by 2045. Whilst that commitment remains, we believe the impact of HPMAs would have detrimental effects on the blue economy which our communities rely on including fishing businesses, aquaculture and marine tourism.

“Many people and businesses across Argyll and Bute are gravely concerned and oppose the proposals. We echo these concerns and have highlighted the potential economic and social devastation in our response to the Scottish Government.

“Our fragile coastal, remote and island communities depend on marine tourism, aquaculture and fishing. HPMAs in the proposed form threaten a devastating reduction of jobs and ultimately people across the western half of Scotland. In some cases, businesses and their activities would close down completely. This is a loss that Argyll and Bute and the wider west coast of Scotland simply cannot agree with, afford or sustain.”

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