This report provides an analysis of responses to the Consultation on inshore fishing prohibitions in the Outer Hebrides, which sought views on proposed changes to closed areas around the Outer Hebrides.
The measures consulted on were as follows:
- Changing the prohibition period for static gear fishing in the Bragar to Dell area
- Removing the prohibition on mobile gear fishing in the Sound of Harris area
- Expanding the seasonal prohibition that restricts scallop dredging in the Loch Maddy to Stuley Island area to include all methods of fishing for scallops
- Extending southwards the prohibition on static gear fishing in the Northern Barra, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist and Harris area
- Introducing a seasonal prohibition on static gear fishing for shellfish in the Loch Roag area
These proposals were developed by the Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Group ( OHIFG) in order to update the prohibitions in effect in their area and to improve the protection of local shellfish stocks.
The proposals underwent a considerable period of consultation prior to their being formally submitted to Marine Scotland, as they were initially developed as part of the OHIFG's Management Plan.
The consultation was launched on 4 December 2015 and ran for a 12-week period, closing to responses on 26 February 2016. A total of 10 responses were received, which consisted of three individual responses and those from the following organisations:
- Comhairle nan Eilean Siar ( CnES)
- Mallaig and North West Fishermen's Association ( MNWFA)
- Outer Hebrides IFG ( OHIFG)
- Scottish Environmental LINK ( SE LINK)
- Scottish Natural Heritage ( SNH)
- Scottish Scallop Divers Association ( SSDA)
- Western Isles Fishermen's Association ( WIFA)
As a result of the consultation exercise Marine Scotland will proceed to introduce all of the measures consulted upon.
A copy of the consultation document, along with published responses, are available at: http://consult.scotland.gov.uk/marine-scotland/inshore-fishing-prohibitions-in-the-outer-hebrides.