Conservation measures launched for seafood

The Scotsman Conferences.'The Year of Food and Drink. Seizing opportunites, rising to challenges.'Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.
The Scotsman Conferences.'The Year of Food and Drink. Seizing opportunites, rising to challenges.'Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment.

New management measures for Scotland’s commercial crab and lobster stocks are the focus of a new consultation being launched today.

The consultation proposals include increasing the minimum sizes at which each species is allowed to be landed, alongside a number of additional measures designed to conserve these valuable shellfish stocks.

The consultation is now open for 12 weeks and closes to responses on Friday, May 20.

Commenting, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The brown crab, velvet crab and lobster fisheries are highly important to many of Scotland’s coastal communities, with landings worth £32 million being recorded in 2014.

“However, the most recent scientific assessments show that some of these stocks are being fished above recommended levels. To ensure that our inshore fisheries are sustainably and effectively managed we are consulting on new management measures for shellfish.

“In the past year we have introduced new landing controls for the crab and lobster fisheries in the Outer Hebrides and Orkney, and I am sure these proposals for the rest of the Scottish coast will be well received by inshore fishermen.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in fisheries management in Scotland to respond to the consultation and give us their views.”