Pilot schemes sponsored by the Scottish Government for fisheries management are not to take place in Orkney but will be limited to the Outer Hebrides, Mull and the east coast of Scotland.
Out of 7 proposals only 3 have been chosen by the Scottish Government.
A spokesperson for Orkney Fisheries Association said:
“‘We are disappointed yet again to have our efforts to protect the scallop stocks in Orkney waters thwarted.
“Our attempt to bring in a regulating order to protect the scallop fishery in 2014 met insurmountable cost implications and objections. This was a window of hope that a pilot management scheme would put the Orkney fishery on the same page in terms of gear limits as Shetland and the Clyde.
“It throws into stark focus the fact that there exists no legal means in Scotland for communities to protect their stocks and strengthen the local economic links to the raw resources of fish and shellfish that surround them.
“That an island population such as Orkney cannot control and limit access to the fishing grounds in which it sits is something that needs to be urgently addressed by local and national government.”
The trials which will take place in the chosen sites will:
- Limit the number of creels that can be used in a section of waters around the Outer Hebrides to test the practicality of managing creel fishing effort
- Introduce a creel only fishery off Mull for a set period of time to protect an important local brown crab fishery
- Support fishermen to agree and formalise access to fishing grounds off Arbroath and Montrose to test whether fishermen using different gears can negotiate and agree on access arrangements
Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for fisheries in the Scottish Government said:
“These pilots will inform our future fisheries strategies and in doing so, help to underpin some of our most fragile fishing communities.
“I am grateful to all those that have participated in this initiative so far, particularly those who took the time to develop proposals. I look forward to following the progress of the trials and using the outcomes to help ensure a sustainable future for Scotland’s inshore fisheries.”
“Orkney fishermen can only sit by as they watch the scallop stocks on which they depend for diversification and their economic year round viability continue to decline.