28th June '23

Statement from Scotland's Seafood Coalition

Scotland’s seafood sector today warned ministers that rebranding Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) to make them more palatable to coastal communities would be a grave error.

It is understood that a parliamentary statement on the unpopular policy, which would ban fishing and most other activities in at least 10% of Scotland’s waters, is to be made tomorrow.

However, the coalition of bodies representing the sector, which recently launched a petition calling for the policy to be scrapped, cautioned against attempting to disguise its fundamental flaws by renaming it and vowing to consult stakeholders more comprehensively.

Speaking on behalf of the coaltion, SFF chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “Nobody cares more about our marine environment than those who are dependent upon it for their livelihoods – from fishermen to salmon farmers to fish processors.

“Opposition to this policy, which lacks scientific rationale, is widespread throughout our coastal communities. The Scottish Government needs to scrap it, not rebrand it, and carry out a complete rethink without pandering to the Greens whose desire to halt legitimate economic activity with a low carbon footprint is dangerous and damaging.”

The coalition comprises the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), Salmon Scotland, Scottish Association of Fish Producers’ Organisations (SAFPO), Community Fisheries Inshore Alliance and Scottish Seafood Association.

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