Marine compliance is a devolved matter and while the Scottish Government works collaboratively with the UK Government to protect fish stocks and deliver other shared interests, operational decisions for Scotland’s vessels will continue to be made in Scotland.
The Scottish Government monitors Supertrawlers, via marine protection patrol boats and electronic surveillance, to ensure there are no infringements and none have strayed into areas that are exclusively within UK fishery limits or the Scottish zone. Scotland’s marine protection vessels and aircraft provide dedicated protection for our marine interests but unfortunately the same cannot always be said for any additional Royal Navy or Home Office assets.
Despite the fact that four of the five most active MPAs for Supertrawlers were in Scottish Waters, and the fact that Scotland’s waters cover 62% of the UK’s domestic exclusive economic zone, Scotland has been frozen out of UK discussions on the future of Maritime Security.
We are nearing the end of the transition period and fishing communities still do not know what the future of fishing in the UK after the CFP will hold. The UK Government must provide further clarity on their plans and work with the devolved governments to find a solution that works for all nations of the UK and respects devolution.
The SNP Scottish Government is fully aware of the value of marine stock to Scotland’s fishing communities, to our shared environment and to future sustainability, and are committed to managing marine stock in a way that ensures prosperity for fishing communities and a just settlement for future generations.