Feb 1, 2016

Promoting Best Practice for Inshore Fisheries: Outcome Report

The Outcome Report on measures for hobby/unlicensed fishermen in Scottish inshore waters, Promoting Best Practice for Inshore Fisheries, has just been published.


The Scottish Government has heard from industry about the detrimental impact that unlicensed fishing is having and consulted last year on a number of measures to tackle the longstanding issue of fishermen selling their catch without a licence.  Following on from this consultation the Scottish Government intends to set catch limits for key shellfish species for unlicensed fishermen and will shortly discuss with the fishing industry and others what limits should be imposed and when these will be introduced.


The Scottish Government wants to ensure that those who operate unlicensed fishing vessels and who choose to sell their catch are aware of the need to have a license and the consequences of not having one. Once introduced, Marine Scotland will monitor the effectiveness of new measures and consider the introduction of further measures if necessary.

 Marine Scotland will continue to target unlicensed fishermen selling their catch illegally.  Marine Scotland Compliance has a recognised presence in all Scottish Inshore waters with regular use of Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).  Inshore patrols now ensure that sea going officers are in close contact with Scotland’s inshore fishermen and are policing vessels that fish unlicensed or are operated by hobby fishermen.

 The sea going presence has been favourably received by industry, particularly where inshore fishermen have taken the opportunity to discuss inshore concerns with Marine Scotland Compliance Officers in the course of routine boardings. Officers continue to work in conjunction with sea going inspections and visits to buyers under the legislation introduced in 2005 to ensure that companies are registered as buyers and that they only buy from vessels that are registered and hold a valid UK fishing vessel license.

More information




Solway Firth Partnership