The Scottish government will make REM mandatory of scallop dredgers and pelagic fishing vessels in the future

The Scottish government will make REM mandatory of scallop dredgers and pelagic fishing vessels in the future

Scottish Secretary for the Environment, Mairi McAllan has confirmed that under the National Marine Plan, the government will make it mandatory for all scallop dredgers and pelagic vessels to be fitted with remote electronic monitoring equipment (REM) technology.

The Minister says she believes, “REM provides opportunities to modernise the way in which accountability and confidence is provided in delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries management.”

Asked by the Scottish National Party’s East Lothian MSP, Paul McLennan whether the next National Marine Plan will include detailed marine spatial plans for mobile and static fishing gears. Environment Secretary Mairi McAllan responded:

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“The purpose of the National Marine Plan is to set out the strategic policies for the sustainable development of our marine resources. The current National Marine Plan reflects broad spatial areas for certain types of activities (for example through policies such as RENEWABLES 1 and AQUACULTURE 1, 2 and 3). The content of the new National Marine Plan (NMP2) is yet to be defined. Given its strategic nature, it is anticipated that it will similarly reflect broad areas for certain types of activity, as informed by other relevant marine planning processes and policies. It will also provide at a strategic level an overview of the range of human activities in the marine space, including fisheries, and their associated cumulative impacts and interactions.

“In addition, Scotland’s Fisheries Management Strategy sets out our approach to managing sea fisheries in Scotland in partnership with our stakeholders through ‘co-management’ and in a way that balances environmental, social and economic interests. As part of our 12 point action plan, we will address issues around the shared marine space linking with wider developments through the Blue Economy approach, considering how fishing interests can work alongside others marine users including offshore renewables.

“Our Fisheries Management Strategy commits to rolling out Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) to key parts of the fishing fleet, and prioritises making REM (including Global Positioning Systems (“GPS”), sensors and cameras) mandatory on scallop dredge vessels and pelagic vessels. REM provides opportunities to modernise the way in which accountability and confidence is provided in delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries management. This is a substantial change programme and one that will significantly improve our data, and our abilities to monitor activity and fish stocks, which will feed into future spatial management measures.

“We are also developing our Future Catching Policy, in partnership with our stakeholders, which will link stock management with responsive and proportionate technical and spatial measures to take concrete action to support fishers to avoid catching fish and other species which they don’t want to land, or catch in the first place – reducing waste and improving environmental outcomes.”

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Minister confirms mandatory REM for scallop dredgers and pelagic vessels

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