Marine Mythbusters

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Myth #01

What collaborative efforts are currently ongoing in the industry?

Fact #01

The Scottish fishing industry values cooperation and collaboration with stakeholders. Collaboration is integral to the industry's success, and various initiatives foster partnerships and information sharing.

Fishermen, scientists, and industry organisations work together to address common challenges, share knowledge, and develop sustainable fishing practices.

Myth #02

What selective fishing methods does the fishing industry utilise?

Fact #02

The Scottish fishing industry promotes selective fishing gear through regulations, gear modifications, technological advancements, industry collaboration, and voluntary adoption of best practices.

Scottish fishermen actively work to minimise by catch and prioritise sustainable fishing practices.

Myth #03

How does the Scottish fishing industry embrace change?

Fact #03

The Scottish fishing industry embraces change and innovation by adopting advanced technologies, promoting sustainable practices, collaborating with researchers and industry associations, diversifying activities, and seeking continuous improvement.

This commitment ensures efficiency, sustainability, and a thriving future for the sector.

Myth #04

Does the industry prioritise the welfare of mammals?

Fact #04

The Scottish fishing industry actively promotes marine mammal welfare through meeting regulations, voluntary codes of conduct, mitigation measures, collaboration, research, and conservation partnerships.

Efforts are made to minimise interactions and harm, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable fishing practices alongside protecting marine mammals.

Myth #05

How does the fishing industry look after spawning grounds?

Fact #05

Scottish fishermen completely depend on protecting fish spawning and juveniles grounds.

They recognise the importance of healthy fish populations and understand that protecting spawning and juveniles areas is crucial for the long-term sustainability of their industry.

Myth #06

How technologically advanced is fishing in Scotland?

Fact #06

The Scottish fishing industry has embraced modern practices and technologies, including technological advancements, vessel modernisation, digitalisation, sustainable practices, and investment in research and innovation. These efforts demonstrate the industry's commitment to progress and sustainability.

Myth #07

How do Scottish fishermen care for their environment?

Fact #07

Scottish fishermen depend upon a healthy environment for their present and future livelihoods.

This is why they actively seek to increase their understanding of the environment they operate in, and why their knowledge should be used in decision making.

The international scientific fora are becoming increasingly aware of embedding fishermen’s knowledge into fisheries science and management.

Myth #08

Is the fish caught in Scotland consumed here or abroad?

Fact #08

A wide range of what the Scottish fleet catches in eaten in Scotland and the UK – for example, cod, haddock, mackerel, crab, scallops, prawns and many more.

The reputation of Scottish seafood and its high-quality means that it is in demand in many other markets. The diversity of our fleet is there to ensure that it meets the demand both at home and overseas.

This means that seafood is an important part of Scotland’s food exports, as well as feeding people at home.

Myth #09

How do our fishermen actively support conservation initiatives?

Fact #09

Any legal method of fishing is sustainable if used lawfully and in the appropriate places.

Using selective fishing gear, adhering to quotas and regulations set by the government and regulatory bodies, and meeting statutory reporting requirements all contribute to Scotland having well-managed and sustainable fisheries.

By working in this way, Scottish fisheries aim to strike the right balance between marine conservation and sustainable food production.

Myth #10

Does Scotland's fishing industry promote responsible practices?

Fact #10

The practice of discarding fish has shown a significant decline over the past several years, and there is now a comprehensive approach to integrating them into stock assessments.While the act of discarding may seem counterproductive, it aligns with sustainable fishing practices when these excess catches are properly considered.Moreover, these cast-off fish can serve as a valuable food source for other species in the food chain, such as seabirds.Data are regularly collected to ensure that discards are accounted for when assessing stocks. The Scottish fishing industry is cooperating with the Scottish Government on a new policy to further minimise discards.

Myth #11

Are Scotland’s stocks fished sustainably?

Fact #11

The Government's national indicators show that around 70% of key commercial stocks are fished at sustainable levels. Some stocks are at their highest level for decades.

The fishing industry is committed to sustainable practises that will allow recovery to continue and to support sustainable fisheries for the long term.

It is scientifically recognised that slower recovery of some stocks is a consequence of changes in environmental conditions and not of over-fishing.

Myth #12

How does responsible fishing practices dispel the myth of fishermen discarding gear?

Fact #12

Scottish fishermen do not deliberately abandon or discard a significant amount of fishing gear into the sea. The fishing industry was the biggest contributor to Scotland’s ‘Fishing for Litter’ campaign and is committed to bringing gear ashore for disposal or recycling at the end of its useful life. Fishing gear is expensive and fishermen will try to repair damaged gear wherever possible.

While some gear may be lost or left behind during fishing operations for example due to bad weather or snagging, fishermen will always want to recover their gear and use it again.

The fishing industry acknowledges the environmental impact of lost gear and actively participates in initiatives to retrieve it. Regulations and guidelines are in place to manage fishing gear, and efforts are made to promote sustainable practices and reduce gear loss.

Finding ways to reuse and recycle materials from fishing gear and aquaculture equipment is an important part of a move towards a circular economy approach.

This is where resources are managed in a more sustainable way.

The seafood industry is working on solutions to tackle these important issues head-on.

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