The Inshore Fisheries Committee leads on policy for the SFF on all matters relevant to the inshore sector. The inshore committee oversees the development and pursuit of Federation Policy on:-
The development of a Scottish policy for the Crab and Lobster fisheries has been led by the Federation, with policies developed through the Inshore Committee, going forward in consultation with active fishermen to policy forming groups such as the Scottish Fisheries Council Crab & Lobster Group.
In recognition of the international aspects of the fishery and the markets, the Federation has also taken a leading role along with its counterparts in England and Eire, in developing a co-operative transnational group to further develop management proposals for Crab & Lobster. This led to the Federation becoming one of the main funders for the study which led to the publication in 2009 of the report “Future Management of Brown Crab in UK and Ireland” The report condensed all the available information and consulted active fishermen to go forward which proposals to the management authorities.
Under the auspices of the Federation we have been able to broker communications between different sectors, such as crab, squid and scallop. This has been part of an effort to avoid open conflict arising and led to the development of a “Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Moray Firth”.
The Federation was also a key member of The ACRUNET (Atlantic Crab Users Resource Network) project has now come to an end following the successful completion of the funding period.
ACRUNET was set up to help secure a sustainable and profitable future for the European brown crab industry. The sector has been hit by a number of challenges in recent years including soaring fuel prices, inconsistent quality and diminishing demand in European markets caused in part by competition from cheaper non-EU imports.
ACRUNET provided a transnational network that addressed and identified factors in improving brown crab competiveness through international co-operation, communication and innovation.
Objectives achieved included the building of an industry/science interface to feed into the management and policy for crab at regional and international levels, and the adoption of an accredited brown crab standard to ensure the delivery of a high quality and sustainably caught product. Innovative new storage and transportation methods for crab were also explored.
In addition, the project completed marketing and consumer promotions to help to raise the profile of brown crab as a quality foodstuff. Looking to the future, members agreed to continue lobbying their respective governments to improve management of the fishery and markets.
The committee serves as the first stop for the scallop industry in developing policy, again in the first instance for Scotland but also on a UK wide basis.
Other non-quota species are dealt with as required.
Since it’s inception by the Scottish Government the SFF has been a lead partner in the Scottish Inshore Fisheries Action Group and policy developed by the Inshore Committee is used to inform Federation dealings with the Marine Directorate in this Group, amongst others.
The work of SIFAG has led to the development of Inshore Fisheries Groups, and, as many members of the committee also sit on the Executives of the Inshore Fisheries Groups, the committee is well positioned to discuss issues surrounding the IFG’s. This is enhanced by the occasional invitation to relevant experts to attend meetings and contribute to the knowledge base of members and therefore assist in developing policy.