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Sustainable Fisheries

The sustainable fisheries committee is the forum within the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation that deals with any science or environmental led issues. The sustainable fisheries committee oversees SFF work on a range of subjects including;

  • Scientific output
  • Stock sustainability/certification
  • Energy and marine renewables
  • Marine legislation
  • Habitat and wildlife legislation
  • Federation environmental policy
  • SFFS observer scheme

The sustainable fisheries committee is the Federation’s main committee where scientific output is discussed. The annual science round which starts with the various stock assessments begins in May with output from these assessments arriving twice yearly in June and August. Once digested by the committee the scientific output gives some idea of the likely outcomes at the various end of year negotiations. The SFF environmental policy document (please click here to view or right click to download 4 MB PDF) sets out the Federation’s positions on a range of environmental matters. The sustainable fisheries committee took this initiative as it was felt that such a document would help to broadcast the Scottish industry’s sustainability and environmental credentials to a wider audience than just the industry itself. 

The sustainable fisheries committee invites representation from Marine Scotland Policy and Marine Scotland Science to most of its meetings so that representatives from these organisations can keep the industry abreast of any issues relating to them. The committee members believe that having externals attend the meetings adds value as they often bring extremely useful insight to many of the issues discussed.  

Whilst not an integral part of the sustainable fisheries committees remit, the output and work plan of the SFF Services fisheries observer scheme is often discussed by the committee. The scheme is funded by the European Fisheries Fund and Scottish Ministers and was established to help provide support to the Scottish Government’s Conservation Credit Steering Group, now incorporated into the Fisheries Management & Conservation Group (FMAC).



The European Fisheries Fund
Investing in Sustainable Fisheries 



Scalloping Fact Sheet

The SFF working in partnership with our constituent association, the Scallop Association, has produced a fact sheet on scallop fishing that provides a full overview of this very important fishery. (click here to download)

Article by Ray Hilborn

Why the pressure to ‘under-fish’ is counterproductive and is resulting in the loss of focus on the fundamental goal of attaining a sustainable food supply that benefits all our communities whilst at the same time ensuring abundant fish stocks. (click here to download)

Latest News

26th November 2015

Following discussion at the most recent FISG Fishermen’s Training Project Group meeting in Southampton, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, only experienced fishermen who can provide evidence that they have been fishing for at least 60 days within the last two years will be eligible for funding towards the cost of any approved training.

Fishing for the Truth

Fishing for the Truth