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Gear conflict management

Published: 8 Dec 2015 13:30

New measures to tackle fishing gear conflict.

A package of measures to help prevent and deter gear conflict has been announced today.

After a consultation with the industry, the Scottish Government has developed a long term plan to tackle the longstanding and complex problems associated with gear conflict. This plan includes:

- applying tracking technology to vessels fishing inshore waters to help deter gear vandalism

- introducing spatial pilots within gear conflict hotspots

- testing technology to improve understanding of fishing vessels' operations

- establishing a working group with industry to look at good practice and possible legislative changes to the marking and visibility of static gear within 12 miles

- considering legislative options for Marine Scotland to take a more direct role in gear conflict

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead said:

"Gear conflict is a major issue for our inshore fishermen, it is unacceptable that in the last couple of weeks three separate incidents have been reported including one in Fraserburgh where 40 creels worth approximately £4000 were allegedly lost.

"While the majority of fishermen, whether static or mobile, co-operate well on a daily basis sharing fishing areas when targeting the same species, without conflict. However, when gear conflict occurs, it can have a significant effect on individual fishermen.

"I don't underestimate the challenges ahead, but if we are to promote good practice and modernise management of our inshore fisheries in Scotland - we need to take action now. Significant investment in technology and reporting is essential to tackle gear conflict and I hope these new measures will help fishermen across the country."

Notes to editors

The outcome report for the consultation can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/4724