The management committee met on 19 April, where the Fisheries Management Plan was agreed. The plan outlines a number of objectives that members wish to seek to address. The plan is designed to be a rolling document, and will be amended to include issues or objectives as these arise. The plan will be subject to review each time the management committee meets.
A paper outlining potential scallop management proposals was considered by the committee as a follow-on to an earlier proposal made to the scallop work group on 14 February. The meeting agreed that there needs to be measures taken on the management of west coast scallops, and have extended the scope of the WCRIFG scallop work group to include members of the Outer Hebrides RIFG and Orkney.
Drafting of the Fisheries Management Plan remains on-going with the aim of it being endorsed at the meeting of the WCRIFG Management Committee on 19 April 2017. Intended to be a flexible rolling document, the Plan will outline key objective the RIFG will seek to achieve over the next year or so. A meeting of the WCRIFG Clyde Subcommittee was held on 9 March to facilitate the development of aims and objectives for inclusion in the Plan.
Following on from the voluntary closure of Loch Sunart in late 2016 a work group of the WCRIFG Management Committee met on 14 February to explore options for longer term measures in west coast waters to reduce impacts of scalloping on stocks. A key concern of members relates to potential impacts by displacement of vessels from other west coast waters in addition to losses of some scalloping areas last year due to environment designations. Following the meeting feedback from attendees meant that alternative proposals will be put to the work group before wider distribution to the full WCRIFG.
Discussions to finalise draft proposals for a management demonstration site in waters West of Mull took place at Craignure, Mull on 31 January with members of the Mull & Argyll Subcommittee work group. Aimed at ensuring that scallops and brown crab are sustained whilst gear conflict is minimised a report has been circulated to the full WCRIFG membership after initial input from subcommittee members.