This week saw the Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse set out the remit and scope of the Wild Fisheries review.
The remit is:
- To consider from first principles the challenges and opportunities facing Scotland’s wild fisheries (salmon and freshwater), the management system and funding required to meet those challenges and deliver those opportunities.
- To consider the balance of responsibility and accountability as regards the international commitments, obligations and domestic policy objectives associated with wild fisheries and their environment.
- To set out how Scotland’s natural fish and fisheries resources should be sustainably managed, conserved and developed in the context of Scotland’s international commitments, obligations and domestic policy objectives in the best national interest and in a way that is underpinned by evidence.
- To identify and map the essential components of a modern wild fisheries management system; one responsive to the changing and multi-factoral impacts and pressures on fish and fisheries.
- To consider the information required to make and implement evidence-based management decisions.
- To consider the skill set required to deliver any new management system.
Specifically, the review and subsequent report will consider how:
- A strategic and joined up approach can be created in order to preserve, protect and develop Scotland’s fisheries in a sustainable manner in the best interest of Scotland as a whole;
- Relevant data and research should be collected and shared to inform management decisions and who should have the lead responsibility for data collection, storage and research commissioning;
- All fisheries species focus and management can be achieved optimally;
- Fisheries management should be funded in a way that is both transparent and accountable;
- To manage non-compliance with wild fisheries legislation in a proportionate and consistent manner;
- The sustainable management of salmon netting activity could be taken forward in the future;
- Some countries supporting a similar range of species to Scotland manage their wild fisheries and what lessons can Scotland learn from international perspectives;
- Evidenced based management decisions should be implemented to ensure compliance with national and international obligations and legislative accountability;
- Appropriate skill sets required for fisheries management are developed and provide opportunities for continuous professional development;
- To create a better environment and increase the opportunity for all but especially young people to stimulate their interest in fishing and fisheries management;
- Appropriate interventions and actions, including broader policy, can overcome barriers, weaknesses or omissions in fostering productive working relationships between and across sectors.
The review may further develop any objectives to enable its aims to be delivered and to advise Scottish Ministers on any aspects related to management of wild fisheries that merits their attention.
The review will be conducted independently of Scottish Government by a Panel comprising Andrew Thin (Chair), Jane Hope and Michelle Francis. It will be supported by a secretariat from the Scottish Government, and a technical advisory group drawn from Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Institute of Fisheries Management. It is for the Chair and Panel to determine how the review is conducted, but it will be structured around delivery of the remit set out above.
Timing & Timescale
The Review will begin in March 2014, and it is envisaged that it will take six months to complete with a final report delivered to me thereafter.