Consultation about electrofishing for razor clams in Scotland

Closed 30 Sep 2016

Opened 16 Aug 2016

Feedback updated 3 Apr 2017

We asked

In light of scientific evidence that suggests electrofishing is a relatively benign way of harvesting razor clams when compared to other methods (e.g. dredging), we sought views about whether electrofishing should in future be a permitted method of catching razor clams in Scotland.

You said

The consultation generated a diversity of views, with opinions spanning the spectrum from positive to impartial to negative.

We did

On 03 April 2017 we announced that the Scottish Government will authorise a controlled scientific trial of electrofishing for razor clams.  A trial provides an opportunity to address matters raised in the consultation and investigate the viability of a sustainable razor clam electrofishery.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The consultation is seeking views about whether the Scottish Government should propose amendments to legislation allowing specified forms of electrofishing to be utilised as a permitted method for catching razor clams in Scottish waters


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Click here to download a copy of the consultation paper

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government is seeking stakeholder views on whether it should seek a change to existing regulation currently banning the use of electrofishing methods for catching razor clams. Initial study has suggested that electrofishing does not have immediate or short-term negative impacts on target and non-target species. The study also concluded that electrofishing is likely to be a more environmentally benign method of fishing than some other traditional methods. However, the Government also recognises that there are likely to be different views on this issue, particularly from environmental interests and from those living in close proximity to inshore fishing areas.

What happens next

Once the consultation is closed the responses will be published by 01 November 2016.


  • Economy
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Marine and Fisheries