Fishermen are being given greater responsibility for the management and conservation of fisheries.
Following a request by local fishermen to the Regional Inshore Fisheries Group, a sub-group has been set up for licensed fishermen working out of Eyemouth, Cove, Dunbar, North Berwick, Cockenzie and Port Seton harbours.
At its first meeting, held last month, it agreed that sustainable fishing was critical to the future of the inshore fleet and fishing communities.
There are no immediate concerns about stocks, but with an increase in fishing efforts over recent years by both mobile and static gear fishermen, a proactive approach was proposed with agreement among the North Sea coastline’s boat-owners.
The group is looking to limit the number of creels for lobster fishing to 300 per man, impose a blanket ban on landing berried hen lobsters and require twin-rig prawn trawlers to single-rig in fisheries using a cod end of 5mm single twine with 80mm mesh size and a 160mm lifting bag.
These proposals are designed to protect stocks in the long term and ensure the viability of all local vessels.
Group chairman Iain Maddox said “The representatives who attended the recent meetings are inviting their colleagues to enter into discussions about these proposals and work out solutions that will benefit the fishing community as a whole”.
Anyone wanting to take part in the sub-group’s consultation process should email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07557 390115.