Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Group - Consultation on inshore fishing prohibitions in the Outer Hebrides

Closed 26 Feb 2016

Opened 4 Dec 2015

Feedback Updated 21 Dec 2016

We Asked

For views on proposed changes to closed areas around the Outer Hebrides.

You Said

A total of 10 responses were received, which consisted of three individual responses and seven from organisations. A majority of respondents supported the proposals.

We Did

As a result of the consultation exercise Marine Scotland will proceed to introduce all of the measures consulted upon.

Results Updated 21 Dec 2016

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.


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.

As a result of the consultation exercise Marine Scotland will proceed to introduce all of the measures consulted upon

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Published Responses

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

Overview

There are a number of closed areas in the Outer Hebrides’ inshore waters where mobile and/or static gear fishing has been prohibited on either a seasonal or year-round basis.

These prohibitions were introduced over the past 30 years using the powers of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984 and have been reviewed on a regular basis by government.

The Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Group (IFG) has developed management measures to update the prohibitions in effect in its area, as it believes they do not reflect changes that have occurred in the fishery since they were first introduced.

These measures are 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/li>
  • 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

After reaching consensus within its membership, the Outer Hebrides IFG has asked Marine Scotland to consult on these measures, which it believes will modernise these prohibitions so that they better complement current fishing practices.

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Why We Are Consulting

The purpose of this consultation document is to seek the views of those with an interest in inshore fishing in the Outer Hebrides, in order to inform policy decisions. The consultation will last for 12 weeks, commencing on Friday 4 December 2015 with a deadline of Friday 26 February 2016 for responses.

The views and suggestions received in consultation responses will be analysed and fed into the decision making process. Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including any other available information and research evidence.

The Scottish Government may make the responses to this consultation paper available to the public and to the Scottish Parliament. We will acknowledge responses and may publish an analysis of the responses after the consultation.

What Happens Next

The views and suggestions received in consultation responses will be analysed and fed into the decision making process. Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including any other available information and research evidence.

Audiences

  • People of Scotland
  • Public bodies
  • Individuals
  • Campaign Groups
  • Environment
  • Hobby Fishers
  • Scottish Water
  • Environmental Groups
  • Environment and climate change groups
  • Local Authorities
  • Organisations
  • Businesses
  • Individuals
  • Animal Welfare Organisations
  • Community groups
  • Environmental NGOs
  • Local fishing interests
  • Academics
  • Researchers
  • Rural development interests
  • Recreational activity representatives

Interests

  • Marine and Fisheries