Scotland’s inshore waters are important. They extend 12 nautical miles from Scotland’s enormous 11,800km coastline, cover over half of the country’s territorial area and were historically a rich source of wealth for coastal communities.
Despite the importance of inshore waters, their management has been neglected. Over-fishing and the use of fishing gears which damage habitats have not only been permitted but promoted. As a consequence the inshore ecosystem has been degraded and the valuable fin-fish stocks have collapsed to the point that coastal communities no longer enjoy a mixed and vibrant economy.
SIFT’s Scottish Parliamentary lunch for MSPs in January 2014, hosted by Kenneth Gibson MSP, attracted cross party interest. The lunch was addressed by Clyde Steering Group member Britt Groosman of Environmental Defense Fund, Nick Ferguson CBE, Chair of SIFT’s Clyde Steering Group and by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead MSP.
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Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity Number SC042334