Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess (pictured) today has asked the Scottish Government to invest more in ensuring that the fisheries in the Highlands and Islands are designed and managed sustainably, with the aim of providing long-term jobs and prosperity in the region.
The arrangements being proposed by the Scottish Government do not adequately tackle the problems of overfishing, the crisis in our inshore environments, and the inequity of how quotas are currently distributed – which can only be achieved by a complete overhaul of the system.
Ariane Burgess MSP said:
“Today I’m calling for the Scottish Government to deliver “Fisheries for the Future”.
“Across the Highlands and Islands we have communities which are dependent on a thriving fishing industry that will be endangered if we don’t put an end to unsustainable fishing practices.”
“I want to be clear that the Scottish Greens understand the vital role of fishing in rural and island communities and believe the Scottish Government needs to take action to ensure that the most sustainable way of fishing is also the most profitable for communities.
“This means long-term investment into skills development in regenerative fishing methods, and better enforcement and higher fines for infringements into Marine Protected Areas.
“This also means working with the Scottish Government to consult on a cap to fishing activity in inshore waters and deliver a suite of Highly Protected Areas to enable habitats to recover, which will lead to far more productive seas.
“We have seen the devastating effects of overfishing in the Atlantic Canadian Cod fishery which was decimated in the 90’s and the impacts, not only on the environment but in the culture and communities which were dependent on them.
“Fishing is part of the fabric of Scottish life as well as one of our most valuable exports and this may be our last opportunity to ensure a just transition to sustainable fishing.”