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Electrofishing consultation

Published: 16 Aug 2016 10:43

Views sought on electrofishing methods.

A consultation on proposals to amend legislation so that specified forms of electrofishing would be permitted for catching razor clams has been launched today.

The consultation seeks views on whether the Scottish Government should seek a derogation from EU legislation that prohibits fishing with electricity.

Everyone with an interest has been urged to contribute their views by the 30 September 2016.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing said:

"Marine Scotland has undertaken comprehensive research on the impact of electrofishing on the surrounding environment and the catch and have concluded that it is a relatively benign way of harvesting razor clams.

"Electrofishing is currently illegal in Scotland and Marine Scotland Compliance has taken a range of measures to tackle this illegal activity. Enforcement has proved to be very difficult, and changes need to be made to either make it easier to enforce the current law or, if electrofishing is to be legalised, to ensure any electrofishing is undertaken safely and sustainably in a properly regulated environment.

"As a result of this advice and extensive consultation with the industry, we have now decided to consult on proposals to amend the current law to allow electrofishing to be a legal method for catching razor clams.

"This is an issue that has evoked much interest and debate. This is why I would urge all those with an interest, in particular from fishermen and people in coastal communities where such fisheries might be conducted, to respond to the consultation."

Notes to editors

Background:

The consultation can be found here:

https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/digital-communications/electrofishing-for-razor-clams