Scottish Government in legal fight to stop sustainable fishing trial

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Scottish Government carry on legal fight to stop sustainable fishing trial

Scottish Government have lodged an appeal against the order made by Lady Poole of the Court of Session requiring them to reconsider a sustainable fishing pilot in the Inner Sound of Skye.

Lady Poole of the court of session had found that the Scottish Government had acted irrationally in failing to decide the Pilot Proposal in accordance with its own Pilot scheme guidelines and quashed the decision to reject the Pilot.

The Pilot proposal was put forward by the NWRFA (North-West Fishermen’s Association) in 2018 and was designed to test the economic and environmental advantages of static gear fishing as opposed to trawled fishing gear.

A Judicial Review took place in December 2020. Despite the Judgement by Lady Poole, clearly stating that the Scottish Government should reassess the Pilot proposal the Scottish Government is likely to argue that the Pilot will serve no practical purpose.

Alistair Sinclair National Co-ordinator of SCFF says, “The Scottish Government’s own Marine Assessment 2020 indicates that our inshore marine environment is continuing to deteriorate and Scotland’s legal target for the marine environment are not being met. This pilot is vital in terms of finding a better way to manage our inshore fisheries, with a view to reversing these declines.”

Alistair ‘Bally’ Philp of NWRFA which put forward the Pilot proposal said, “This decision is a slap in the face for the fishermen of the Inner Sound who have fought for years to pilot a low impact community managed fishery in the Inner Sound. It is very depressing to realise that the Scottish Government is spending more public money in the courts to repress potentially vital evidence on the advantages of sustainable fishing methods”.

Robert Younger of Fish Legal which is backing the case said: “It appears that the Scottish Government are desperate to avoid having to reconsider the Pilot, which is designed to demonstrate the benefits of low impact fishing. This is strange given that improving the evidence base is a central tenet of their current inshore strategy. One has to wonder what the Scottish Government is so afraid of? The only sector which has anything to fear from the Pilot is the trawl sector itself and one wonders who is making the decisions here”

For a background to this see Modern Politics and Communities as Pawns of Politicians’ Whims. Voice for Arran Issue 119 February 2021

Sally Campbell
February 2021

Contact Details:-
Alistair Sinclair – National Coordinator SCFF Tel.No.01499 500641
Bob Younger – Fish Legal 07791 370837
Alistair (Bally) Philp – NWRFA/SCFF Representative Mob no. 07861 668806

Featured image shows the inner sound of Skye where it was proposed that the the pilot would take place.