Modernising the management of inshore fisheries around the Outer Hebrides is the aim of a new consultation.
Scotland’s inshore waters contain a number of closed areas where fishing has been prohibited, either seasonally or all year round.
The Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Group (IFG) believes that some of the closed areas in its waters are now outdated due to changes to the local fishing industry.
Marine Scotland is consulting on the IFG’s proposals to update the management of these areas in order to better complement current fishing practices.
The consultation is open for the next 12 weeks and closes to responses on Friday 26 February.
Fisheries Secretary, Richard Lochhead said: “Modernising the management of our inshore fisheries is one of the key aims of the Scottish Government’s inshore fisheries strategy, and I am pleased to see that the Inshore Fisheries Groups are continuing to put forward proposals to resolve issues of local importance.
“I would urge anyone with an interest in fisheries management in the Outer Hebrides to respond to this consultation.”
Duncan MacInnes, Secretary of Western Isles Fishermen’s Association said: “Seasonal closures and creel prohibition areas have played a key role in managing inshore fisheries in the Outer Hebrides for the last 30 years.
“We welcome the opportunity for further consultation on amending some of those measures to reflect the changes that have occurred in fishing and marketing practices during that period.
“The amendments if implemented will enhance shellfish stocks around the Outer Hebrides as identified in the Management Plan developed by the Outer Hebrides Inshore Fisheries Group.”
The consultation document can be found: