Islands’ fishing industry hugely important to economy
24 November 2016
He added: “Scotland’s islands account for between a quarter and a third of the landings,
vessels and jobs in Scotland’s catching sector.
“They also generate significant knock-on effects in investment and employment on
the mainland, from marine engineering and electronics to seafood processing and distribution.
“A healthy fishing industry throughout Scotland’s islands would not only strengthen
and diversify the rural economy. It could also be expected to benefit the Scottish
economy as a whole.”
The island fishermen represented by the Clyde Fishermen’s Association, the Orkney
Fisheries Association, the Shetland Fishermen’s Association and the Western Isles
Fishermen’s Association want the Scottish Government to recognise:
· That control over access to Scottish waters should not be traded away as part of
any Brexit settlement, as it is the most effective means of ensuring fairer shares
of quotas for local fishing vessels;
· That Scotland’s islanders should have a particular voice in shaping the fisheries
· That as island communities heavily dependent on fishing are the ultimate stakeholders
in healthy seas, they should have the final say in designating marine protected areas
in their waters;
· That every effort should be made to secure tariff-free access to European markets
for locally-caught seafood;
· That more stringent protection is required against marine pollution;
· That to preserve their long-term sustainability, fisheries should be among the
primary beneficiaries of any transfer of Crown Estate revenues to island communities.
· That appropriate access to migrant labour will remain vital to the islands’ seafood
production, both at sea and on land.
Fishermen in Scotland’s islands have joined together to urge ministers to recognise
the importance of the industry to the wellbeing of their remote communities.
As MSPs at Holyrood hold a debate today on “Supporting and strengthening Scotland’s
island communities,” the four associations representing island fishermen emphasised
that fishing was an important employer and contributed strongly to economic and cultural
Duncan MacInnes, Secretary, Western Isles Fishermen’s Association said: “Fishing
is one of the very few industries that can realistically be expected to make a substantial
contribution to these communities’ long-term sustainability.”