Difficulties facing Scottish offshore fisheries, such as cod and haddock, have been widely publicised. 17 out of 21 commercial fish stocks are outside their safe biological limits, in other words – at risk of irreversible collapse. However, the future of Scotland’s inshore fisheries is also in the balance.
Often overlooked in these difficult times for the wider fishing industry, inshore fisheries are experiencing problems of their own. Inshore fish and shellfish stocks support almost three-quarters of the Scottish fleet. However, they are under mounting pressure for a variety of reasons including the displacement of fishing effort resulting from restrictions on the offshore fleet. There is work to be done if Government and the fishing industry are to help ensure the sustainability of the inshore fish and shellfish stocks and the environment that supports them.