Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland, is urging the Scottish Government to listen to the fishing sector in developing a sensible balance between conservation and fishing interests as the proposals for marine protected areas (MPA) will be considered by MSPs.
Mr Hume is due to meet with Bertie Armstrong of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation on Wednesday of this week, 2nd September.
Mr Hume said:
“There’s no doubt that it’s vitally important to achieve a sensible balance between conservation and fishing activity, both of which are economically important. But in protecting our seabed, any measures must be proportionate and we cannot ignore the socio-economic needs of coastal and fishing communities. Indeed, in my own region there are a great many coastal communities both on the east and west that are still very much dependent on a fishing income.
“The Scottish Government needs to be careful of being too heavy handed in achieving tough conservation measures at the expense of the fishing sector on which many coastal communities are built around.”