Views sought on fish­ing with elec­tric­ity

The Oban Times - - News -

A CON­SUL­TA­TION on pro­pos­als to amend leg­is­la­tion so that spec­i­fied forms of elec­trofish­ing would be per­mit­ted for catch­ing ra­zor clams has been launched to­day.

The con­sul­ta­tion is ask­ing for views on whether the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment should seek a break from EU leg­is­la­tion that pro­hibits fish­ing with elec­tric­ity.

All in­ter­ested par­ties have been urged to con­trib­ute by Septem­ber 30.

Cab­i­net sec­re­tary for ru­ral econ­omy and con­nec­tiv­ity Fer­gus Ewing said: ‘ Marine Scot­land has un­der­taken com­pre­hen­sive re­search on the im­pact of elec­trofish­ing on the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment and the catch and has con­cluded that it is a rel­a­tively be­nign way of har­vest­ing ra­zor clams.

‘Elec­trofish­ing is cur­rently il­le­gal in Scot­land and Marine Scot­land Com­pli­ance has taken a range of mea­sures to tackle this il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity.

‘En­force­ment has proved to be very dif­fi­cult and changes need to be made to ei­ther make it eas­ier to en­force the cur­rent law or, if elec­trofish­ing is to be le­galised, to en­sure any elec­trofish­ing is un­der­taken safely and sus­tain­ably in a prop­erly reg­u­lated en­vi­ron­ment.

‘We have now de­cided to con­sult on pro­pos­als to amend the cur­rent law to al­low elec­trofish­ing to be a le­gal method for catch­ing ra­zor clams.

‘This is an is­sue that has evoked much in­ter­est and de­bate which is why I would urge all those with an in­ter­est, in par­tic­u­lar fish­er­men and peo­ple in coastal com­mu­ni­ties where such fish­eries might be con­ducted, to re­spond to the con­sul­ta­tion.’

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