Electrofishing for razor clams trial - launch of application process
Marine Scotland is now inviting applications for a controlled scientific trial of electrofishing for razor clams. The application pack is available online (http://gov.scot/Topics/marine/Sea-Fisheries/management/razors/trialapp) and includes details of where the trial will take place, its objectives and how applications will be evaluated. Applications must be submitted by 1200 hours on Friday 29 December 2017.
It is anticipated that the trial will commence in February 2018, subject to the Scottish Parliament’s support of a Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) that will provide the trial with integrity and a sound enforcement basis. The SSI has the effect of prohibiting all fishing for razor clams in the Scottish zone, except when either gathered by hand at the shore (up to a limit of 30 clams per day) or when conducted as part of a trial authorised by the Scottish Government.
Please contact Marine Scotland at AccesstoSeaFisheries@gov.scot if you have any questions.
Consultation on a proposal to amend the economic link licence condition
The Scottish Government is consulting on a proposal to amend the current economic link licence condition in fishing vessel licences. You can view and respond to the consultation at the Scottish Government's consultation hub. The deadline for responses is 31 October 2017.
The RIFG has recently written to the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing MSP, to seek assurance on Parliamentary time for new fisheries legislation.
Mr Ewing's response can be viewed here.
Representation (extract from Spring 2017 RIFG newsletter)
There has never been a more important time for inshore fishermen to participate in representation in order to influence the outcome of proposed new law, fisheries management and to resolve problems.
Inshore fishermen can contribute to local forums and direct consultations as well as join / actively participate in a Fisherman’s Association. It is Fishermen's Associations who send representatives to the RIFG Management Committee meetings held each quarter.
Representation should be as much a part of an inshore fisherman’s business as any other aspect of the job and there is no point complaining about a decision Marine Scotland or Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing makes, if you do not respond to consultations or tell your Association representatives your views.
The North & East Coast Regional IFG has a new Management Committee consisting of representatives drawn from Fishermen’s Associations throughout the region. This group is responsible for developing and implementing a Fisheries Management Plan for the region as well as being a forum for discussing regional inshore fishing issues and making recommendations to Marine Scotland. The Management Committee will also have a role in shaping the new legislation which will replace the current 1967 and 1984 Acts.
Independent fishermen may contact the RIFG Chairman for more information on joining an existing fishermen’s association, forming their own or other options for representation.
Representation requires knowing what is going on and reacting accordingly. The RIFG Chairman sends out emails to Association representatives with any new information that becomes available. The expectation is that this will be communicated to members for their information and feedback. Independent fishermen can request to be included in this email list.
Also, Marine Scotland’s website is an excellent reference source for information, facts and figures: www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Sea-Fisheries.
A new leaflet explaining the options available to small-scale fishermen for EMFF funding has recently been published: https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/calling-all-small-scale-fishermen_en.
Further information on EMFF funding is available on the Scottish Government website at www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/grants-subsidies. You can also contact Marine Scotland's EMFF Grant team at EMFF@gov.scot.