Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation News  

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation’s Inner Sound of Skye inshore fisheries pilot proposal result.

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation have taken a legal action against the Scottish Government for rejecting a ‘trawl-free’ inshore fishing scheme in the Inner Sound, on the west coast.

See full details here:



The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation’s JUDICIAL REVIEW of the Scottish Government’s decision to refuse the Inner Sound of Skye inshore fisheries pilot proposal.

Key Points

• With the assistance of Fish Legal, SCFF has lodged a petition for judicial review of the decision by the Scottish Government to refuse the application by the North West Responsible Fishermen’s Association (NWRFA) for a fisheries Pilot in the Inner Sound of Skye.
• The NWRFA Pilot proposal was submitted under the Scottish Government’s Inshore Fisheries Pilots programme, which was designed to trial different aspects of gear restriction (separating mobile and static fishing gear) in order to improve the evidence informing inshore fisheries management
• The NWRFA Pilot was specifically designed to examine what environmental and economic benefits may be obtained in a ‘creel only’ zone as opposed to a ‘trawl only’ zone in the Nephrops fishery. The Nephrops is a large prawn and is Scotland’s second most valuable catch.
• The Nephrops creel fishery is a ‘low impact high value’ fishery that supplies the valuable live langoustine market. The Nephrops trawl fishery is a ‘high impact low value fishery’ that supplies the scampi market. There is a growing concern that Nephrops trawling has caused the chronic decline in west coast fish populations because of its very high levels of bycatch.
• The grounds for the judicial review are that Marine Scotland, (the executive agency responsible for managing Scotland’s fisheries) refused the Inner Sound Pilot based on the results of a public consultation rather than applying the criteria that their own pilot programme guidance had set out as the basis on which applications would be determined. Consultation responses were dominated by members of the trawl industry who will object, as a matter of course, to any restriction on their freedom to trawl.
• SCFF has a wider concern that this case follows a pattern that suggests that the mobile sector wields too much influence with Marine Scotland and thus that the management of our fisheries appears more aligned with the interests of the mobile sector than with the public interest or fisheries policy under the National Marine Plan.

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation has lodged a petition for judicial review against the Scottish Government in the Court of Session. The legal issue behind this judicial review is the handling of the Scottish Government’s Inshore Fisheries Pilot Programme; specifically its decision to refuse a pilot proposal for the Inner Sound of Skye. The proposed Skye Pilot was designed to provide evidence on the environmental and economic benefits of creeling as opposed to trawling in Scotland’s important inshore Nephrops fishery. This legal challenge highlights an important concern about the way our inshore fisheries are managed by Marine Scotland and an apparent gap between policy and practice. Marine Scotland is the executive agency that is responsible for the management of Scotland’s publicly owned inshore fisheries.

We have an uncontroversial definition of fisheries management: “the application by a public authority of fisheries management measures in support of inshore fisheries policy objectives and the public interest”. The broader question needing urgent examination is whether Marine Scotland, in managing our inshore fisheries, meets this definition both in the case of the Inner Sound Pilot Programme and more generally. The failures on behalf of Marine Scotland that led to the SCFF to bring this judicial review follow a predictable pattern of behaviour, which suggests that it may not. We believe this to be a matter of great public concern because our fisheries are one of Scotland’s greatest assets. Our inshore fisheries are of particular ecological value as well as being of huge economic significance to coastal communities.

This judicial review is ultimately about the Scottish Government doing what they say they are going to do. In this case, the crucial issue is understanding the relationship between protection of key marine ecology and a maintaining a healthy fishing economy. This briefing note is headed by a quote from Nicola Sturgeon that indicates that the Scottish Government understands the importance of that relationship; the issue of obtaining evidence of that relationship, for fisheries management purposes, is at the heart of this Judicial Review. Readers can assess for themselves whether the First Minister’s words are mere lip-service or whether she and her government mean what they say. This judicial review is therefore also about trust and confidence in the Scottish government’s policies.

See full details here:



Inshore Fisheries Pilot: Inner Sound of Skye - A Consultation

In June 2018 the Scottish Government announced the outcome of an Inshore Fisheries Pilot consultation. At this time three Inshore Fisheries Pilots were announced:

• A seasonal restriction on mobile gear fishing near Mull;
• A restriction on creel numbers in the Outer Hebrides; and
• Zonal fishing management arrangements in waters off Arbroath and Montrose.

Since then, Marine Scotland officials have worked with local fisherman from the Inner Sound of Skye area, resulting in a revised proposal to test management of the Nephrops fisheries in this area.

This proposal has the potential to offer some unique learning opportunities and to help inform our future fisheries strategy. A consultation on this proposal has been launched today, and we encourage all local fishers and stakeholders to respond.

You can view the consultation paper and respond online at:


'Bag it, take it ashore and bin it'

We have been contacted by members of Beachwatch Bute who have been finding a lot of fishing related rubbish on their shores and are asking can we try to help. We would like to ask all members and all fishing boats to do their part to minimise rubbish at sea. If you have any rubbish on your boat, bag it, take it ashore and bin it.



The Wastelands in the Sea by A Scallop Diver

Alasdair Hughson, M.D. of Keltic Seafare and chairman of the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation talks of first hand experience of the effect of scallop dredging on our fishing grounds. 


Herring spawn filmed by divers

Las March scallop divers found some great herring spawn close to Gairloch. Seeing this species recover could be great for fishing, wildlife and tourism. Watch the clip here:


Consultation on deposit return scheme

As you may know, the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland led the successful campaign to introduce a Scottish Deposit Return System - which will add a small deposit price to drink containers, with the money being refunded when empty containers are returned. The Scottish Government is now consulting on the system design. Please fill in a response to this consultation – there is a link to it and a guide to answering its key questions, with the video.

Please watch the video and share it as widely as possible. And please respond to the consultation!

More information here...


Innovation not protectionism key to success of Nephrops fishery

A coalition of Scottish inshore creel fishermen has urged for a more innovative spirit in response to a new trawl sector study on the value of the Scottish prawn fishery. The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF) has given the thumbs down to the study funded by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation which attempts to play down on-going creeler-led calls for more equitable access to inshore prawn grounds. SCFF welcome ongoing efforts by the Scottish Government and Seafood Scotland to take forward the implications of its own ‘Misallocation’ report with further industry analysis and an assessment of the supply chain implications.

In response to the SFF/SFO study, Alistair Sinclair, National Coordinator for Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation said:

"We are proposing urgent innovation within the prawn fishery that could generate more rural fishing jobs and reduce environmental impacts of the excessive trawling effort in our inshore waters. Creel fishing is a low impact fishery and if given more space to operate, could revitalise our inshore fishery. Currently our whole business model is hindered by outdated and inequitable spatial management.

The trawl sector should not be defensive about this. There are many win-wins to be achieved. Those with foresight within the trawl sector knows the industry needs to adapt to sustainability concerns, and we are presenting a spatial management solution that could lead to better fisheries all-round. Less bottom-trawling could see a return of the whitefish inshore.

The SCFF are encouraged that the Scottish Government, with the expert assistance of Seafood Scotland, are now building on our research to examine supply chain implications before progressing any policy or regulatory intervention.

The SFF report fails to assess the opportunity cost of excessive trawling in inshore waters, nor does it quantify the economic potential of more creeling. We hoped our own Misallocation report would stimulate meaningful debate about how to innovate for the success of our shared Nephrops fishery. Unfortunately, what we’re witnessing is a well-funded trawl lobby employing consultants to produce a glossy, but two dimensional and protectionist study. This protectionism is delaying an important and more rational debate that affects both trawl and creel fishermen in Scotland. The study does nothing to diminish our case; it only serves to strengthen our calls for more equitable access to the fishery."

Full response to SSF/SCO study here:

More information here...



We have compiled a new report looking at the value of creel caught prawn compared to trawl for the Scottish economy, fishing industry, communities and environment.

More information here...


New initiative to address entanglement

We have been in consultation with various groups looking at ways to minimise and respond to entanglement. Not only can entanglement lead to gear loss and costs due to loss of working, but it is also distressing to anyone that goes through it as we all respect our seas that we work. In partnership with conservation and rescue groups we have made a new guidance booklet and wallet card that gives advice on best practice to avoid entanglement and who to contact if and when incidents occur. The booklet was launched at the Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference at Inverness and presented to Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity. Booklets will be getting sent out to our members and other groups and an electronic version is available for download on our entanglement page.

Disentanglement booklet

More information here...


Call for inshore vessels to join EMFF integrated data systems project

Dear Skipper or Vessel Owner,
We are contacting owners of 12 metre and under static gear vessels around Scotland to ask for their help, and offer them the opportunity to take part in the SIFIDS Project.
The recently launched "Scottish Inshore Fisheries Integrated Data System" Project (or SIFIDS) is being led by the University of St Andrews, and builds on the results of previous EFF Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Project (2014-15). This new SIFIDS Project will investigate further the use of innovative technology and automated systems to reduce the reporting burden on fishermen, while improving the data collection necessary for marine planning and fisheries management. The SIFIDS Project does not have resource available to survey all U12m vessels, therefore we have identified a representative sub-set operating within the selected study areas, of which your vessel is one.
If you are willing to take part in the SIFIDS Project, then we would ask you to host a researcher on your vessel for one day during summer. Those vessels operating year-round may be asked to allow a second trip during winter. It is our intent that the researcher’s presence will have minimal/no impact on your normal fishing activities. The surveyors will observe and record deck configuration, the way that gear is shot and recovered, and how catch, by-catch and discards are handled on-board, as well as vessel location (via a GPS track from the 1-day sea trip). The goal of this survey work is to better understand fishing vessel operation and catch handling, so that a prototype system for automatic data collection can be developed.
In addition to the on-board surveys, the project will seek your written permission to access data from your FISH1 forms over the course of the study (1st December 2016 to 31st May 2019). The data will be treated as confidential, and will ultimately be aggregated and anonymised so that individual vessels cannot be identified in project reports. The FISH1 data will be used in conjunction with AIS and GPS data (if available) to help the researchers analyse fishing activity patterns in detail.
The on-board researchers are from Seascope Fisheries Research, and collectively to date have more than 1200 sea-days aboard commercial fishing vessels. They will be covered by their own comprehensive insurance, safety at sea certificates, and will provide their own Personal Protection Equipment.
If you are interested in taking part in the study, please contact the project facilitators Kyla Orr or Kathryn Logan on the Freephone number 0800 043 3474, or via email (below).
Further project information is available at:
We hope you will agree to take part in the SIFIDS project, and look forward to hearing from you
Kind regards,
Project Facilitators
Kyla Orr -
Kathryn Logan -

More information here...


MPA Meeting Edinburgh

SCFF, SFF, MCSUK, COAST and Roseanna Cunningham
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform recently met to discuss the MPAs.

Alistair Sinclair is still recovering from a car accident so could not attend in person but submitted the following presentation and spoke to those there.

Presentation Transcript



NEF working paper

The Scottish Nephrops fishery: Applying social, economic, and environmental criteria.

More information here...


Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries 2015 statistics

Provisional Scottish Sea Fisheries statistics published on 12th May 2016 by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that the quantity of fish landed by Scottish registered vessels in 2015 was 439,900 tonnes with a value of 437 million, a decrease of eight per cent and 15 per cent respectively since 2014.
The decrease in value of fish landings in 2015 was driven by a 12 per cent decrease in the volume of pelagic fish
landings. The value of pelagic landings decreased by 27 per cent. Shellfish landings decreased in value and volume and the demersal landings increased in volume, while the value remained stable:
•Pelagic – 27 per cent decrease in value, 12 per cent decrease in volume
•Demersal – value remained stable, two per cent increase in volume
•Shellfish – 11 per cent decrease in value, six per cent decrease in volume
The number of active Scottish registered fishing vessels in 2015 was 2,017, a decrease of one per cent from 2014. The number of fishermen employed on Scottish fishing vessels was 4,828, a one per cent increase from 2014.

More information here...



Joint Warrior activities will be taking place on the west coast between 11th and 23rd April. Please be advised this will include submarine activity and GPS being disabled. Please note these numbers if you experience any issues due to these activities as see the link below for a pdf of full briefing for fishing vessels and ferries including details of what is taking place and where.

UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE (FLEET DUTY CONTROLLER)                      01923 956367

FISHERMANS’ HOTLINE (FLEET DUTY CONTROLLER)                                     

SUBMARINE RELATED                                                                                         01923 956366

HOTLINE (JOINT WARRIOR DUTY CONTROLLER) GPS JAMMING RELATED                                                                     01436 674321 Ext 6469

JOINT WARRIOR CONTROLLER                                                        01436 674321 Ext 3401

CAPE WRATH INFORMATION LINE                                            FREEPHONE 0800 833300

fishing and ferry briefing....


MGN 502 (F)

This legislation comes into force on 1st April'16 and any vessel found not to be in compliance will be given three months grace and thereafter confined to port until such times as vessels conform.

MGN 502 (F) Code of Practice for the safety of small fishing vessels came out almost two years ago with implementation early 2016. SI no 9 of 2001 is the enabling legislation and supercedes MSN 1813(F)

more information here....


Jury's Inn 29th January 2016

Our AGM took place at the Jury's Inn, Inverness on Friday of last week. The Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead joined us in the morning for that can only be described as a productive and progressive meeting. Many issues were raised and responded to in a positive manner which instils confidence looking to the future. Subjects such as gear conflict, MPA's, MLS (brown crab/velvet) and MaxLS for lobsters were just a few of the many topics up for discussion. A full set of proposals will be worked upon for presentation to Marine Scotland. It was agreed the MLS for brown crab should be raised to 150mm as soon as is practically possible. Velvet crab it was agreed MLS should rise to 70mm. A MAXLS for lobster will be further discussed as merchants find great difficulty marketing large lobster.

We are delighted to inform you that the Scottish Scallop Divers Association has joined our ranks. We welcome their membership and the expertise that we as a collective can draw from. Welcome aboard guys.

Alasdair Hughson who co-chairs the SSDA with Guy Grieve was also voted on to the board of Directors.

Low impact/High value fisheries have raised their profile in recent times and we will build further through educating and encouraging the general public to better understand our value to rural communities around the coastline of Scotland.

Jerry Percy of the Low Impact Fishers of Europe gave a presentation of the work his organisation carries out on behalf of low impact fishers from around Europe. Jerry is fully conversant with the politics of Europe and has an office in Brussels.

LIFE can offer its members a voice which can help influence policy within the EU. LIFE has staff that look after the interests of its membership through developing projects and also identifying funding opportunities.

A vote was taken which was unanimous in favour of joining LIFE. A very positive and progressive step forward for the SCFF. We would like to thank Jerry for his time and effort, well done Jerry!


Whale conservation groups urge creel fishermen to take extra care setting gear after recent whale entanglements

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) is urging creel fisherman to take extra care not to leave excess rope floating in the water after the news that a killer whale found dead on Tiree had become entangled in rope and drowned.

The killer whale, named ‘Lulu’ in HWDT’s photo-identification catalogue was first photographed by the organisation 20 years ago. She was one of only nine animals known to be resident on the west coast of Scotland, a population already under threat due to its small size. Lulu was last sighted by HWDT in 2014.

A post mortem carried out on Lulu by scientists from the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) showed wounds on Lulu’s tail indicating she had become entangled in rope, probably from a creel. She had probably carried the line and not fed for several days, before she finally drowned.

Whilst this is the first killer whale that scientists from HWDT and SMASS have seen entangled, they have seen a rise in other whale species entangled in rope from creels over the last year in Scotland, including at least four minke whales and three humpback whales since June 2015.

HWDT’s Sighting and Strandings Officer, Conor Ryan said “Nobody wants this to happen, not least the fishermen themselves. It’s terribly sad to lose one of our local killer whales, especially in these circumstances. Creel fishing is in many ways an environmentally sensitive fishing method. However, large whales can easily become entangled. We know that local fisherman care about whales as much as we do, and we would urge them to be extra careful about how much rope they use, and not to leave excess trailing in the water.”

British Divers Marine Life Rescue responds to strandings around the UK and sees that damage first hand. The charity’s Operations Manager, Stephen Marsh adds “we work closely with fishermen on many rescues and their assistance is invaluable, but anything that would help reduce the problem would be appreciated by all. The very recent incident in Loch Eriboll is a case in point where a 40ft humpback whale became entangled in prawn creel lines – thankfully our specialist team, with the assistance of the local fish farm, were able to free the animal but the outcome could have been quite different and yet another magnificent creature could have perished.”

Contact details:

Conor Ryan, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust:  / 01688 302620

Stephen Marsh, British Divers Marine Life Rescue:  / BDMLR hotline: 01825 765546 (office hours) or 07787 433412 (out of hours)


Gear Conflict outcome report

Promoting Best Practice for Inshore Fisheries: a consultation on measures to tackle gear conflict in Scottish inshore waters

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gear conflict is a longstanding and complex problem in Scottish inshore waters. A Marine Scotland consultation explored spatial separation (particularly in known hotspots), vessel location monitoring systems, websites to detail where static gear had been set, codes of conduct, administrative restrictions and regulation of unlicensed fishermen. This is the outcome report.

Executive Summary
The majority of fishermen from competing sectors co-operate well on a day to day basis but incidents of gear conflict have existed for decades without any decisive action taken by government. When gear conflict occurs it is very difficult for an enforcement body to prove that an offence has been committed. For example, while creel operators may allege that mobile skippers have deliberately trawled through their gear, proving that was their intent has proved impossible. The aim of this suite of measures is to enhance reporting and recording to prevent incidents occurring in the first place and to improve deterrence against deliberate acts of gear vandalism and theft.

more information here....

Fishing body hits back at claims new Marine Protected Areas could risk lives

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 August 2015 in News
Claims that MPAs will damage the fishing industry and could even lead to deaths are “foolhardy” and do not represent the majority of industry views, says SCFF

Claims that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) will damage the fishing industry and could even lead to deaths are “foolhardy” and do not represent the majority of industry views, according to the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation (SCFF).
The Scottish Government has proposed 30 new MPAs aimed at protecting vulnerable environments.
SCFF National Coordinator Alistair Sinclair hit back following warnings from the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), as well as the Scottish Conservatives, over the effect new MPAs will have.

The BBC reported SFF chairman Bertie Armstrong as saying: “It could be, and I'm choosing my words carefully here, devastating. If you want to take a local community and result in a clearance, this is the right way to go about it.”

Meanwhile Calum MacLachlainn, of Isle of Mull Scallops, said: “If they take away our winter grounds, we'll be forced out into areas which are more exposed. The way the Scottish Government is going with the MPAs and listening to the anti-fishing lobby, I think we'll see funerals before someone changes their mind.”

But Sinclair questioned these claims, telling Holyrood: “Government stats show creel fishermen make up about 80 per cent of the inshore sector. Without stating that the SFF are an irrelevance, they do seem to think they are masters of all that happens around the coastline of Scotland, and that is a nonsense, in particular in inshore waters.”

He also called into question claims that the new protections could lead to deaths.
Sinclair said: “The notion that people will die at sea is a foolhardy claim, because you just don’t go to sea whenever it’s poor weather and there is a likelihood that your crew’s safety will be compromised.
“We all like to come home at night and see our families. The fishing industry is quite a dangerous industry and skippers need to remember that they are duty bound by law to respect the safety of their crew members.”

The Scottish Conservatives responded to lend their backing to Armstrong, claiming the fishing industry had been widely ignored by Government ministers.

Environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor said: “Like the Scottish fishing industry, I support the concept of MPAs. But I share the astonishment and anger of west coast fishermen that the compromises which they thought had been agreed through the consultation process were disregarded when the MPA proposals were published.

“I have always argued that MPAs need to be proportionate and must allow existing sustainable fishing activities to continue. Fishermen thought that the SNP supported this too, but its proposed new MPAs have patently failed to achieve this.”

But Sinclair also questioned McGrigor’s comments, telling Holyrood, “Jamie McGrigor is only supporting one section of the industry. Now as a list MSP he should be looking after the interests of all, not just the select band.”

Sinclair’s comments follow claims, reported by the BBC, that creel fishermen had been subjected to intimidation after speaking out in favour of the conservation measures.

He said: “I am glad to say that Richard Lochhead has recognised that we are a good solid body of fisherman now that have aspirations and we have concerns.
“I think this process of creating Marine Protected Areas has made many of our members rather nervous due to the fact we don’t have the management plans in place, however I have been assured that the opportunity to put management plans together would be stepped up between now and the actual implementation, which may allay some fears.”

The Scottish Government has published its response to the consultation on the management of Inshore SACs and MPAs

A press release can be found here;
The report can be found here;

This is a temporary publication and a full HTML version is to follow.

Four Draft Marine Conservation Orders have been published today. Scottish Minister invite written representations from any party on these orders by no later than 23:59 on 12 July 2015. These can be found here;

Measures for the other sites will be delivered using the powers of the Inshore Fishing (Scotland) Act 1984. All of the measures are planned to take effect on 01 October 2015.

For those with an interest in Luce Bay SAC, there is going to be a 1 day workshop on 26 June to finalise management proposals. If you would like to attend please send an email to  by no later than 16 June please

Scottish Inshore Creel Fishermen Wanted!

In an initiative aimed at stimulating home-market demand, improving quality and the price obtained for Scottish langoustine, the Scottish Inshore Creel Support Fund is running a project to examine the use of innovative tank systems for storing creel-caught prawns (Nephrops) on-board vessels.
This two year trial will be for up to ten Scottish registered vessels, landing through designated Scottish based merchants participating in the quality monitoring part of the programme. Successful applicants will be able to retain the equipment following completion of the trial.
Vessels interested in participating in the VINEP vivier system trials are invited to contact Craig Burton ( to discuss the criteria that will apply to those taking part.
The Inshore Creel Support Fund was established in 2014 by the Scottish Government to support the inshore creel fleet. Part of this funding was to develop new and existing markets for Scottish creel-caught produce.
Indications of interest must be received by 25 May 2015.

Another New Association Joins SCFF- February 2015

Great news!! Another new fishermen's association joined the ranks of the Federation at our recent AGM in Inverness. The newly formed ' Aberdeenshire Inshore Fisherman's Association' have been welcomed on board and they are keen to involve themselves in promoting our sector.

Ian Mathieson, a founding member has worked enthusiastically to gather his group together. The federation are confident that the AIFA will contribute much to the further development of the SCFF in years to come. Ian has an in depth knowledge of the industry and the issues we all face. Welcome Aboard Lads!!

Alistair Sinclair (SCFF National co-ordinator) commented, This is another demonstration of creel fishermen aspiring to protect and promote a rural based community way of life. Furthermore in 2014 we were also joined by the Fife Creel Fishermen's Association, John Hoggan of the FCFA has proven to be an asset to the federation and gives much time to attending meetings and promoting the federation's Aims and Objectives. Well done John!

Economic analysis of inshore fisheries - January 2015

"New research on the potential impact of mobile fishing gear restrictions in inshore fisheries is published today.
The research has developed a model to assess the possible impacts of a prohibition on the use of mobile fishing gears within one and three miles from the shore.
The research assesses a number of scenarios and finds that, based on the modeled assumptions, there could be net benefits to Scotland as a result of the gear restrictions, although it suggests these would be outside the fisheries sector.
The research is designed to help inform thinking in this area and the Scottish Government will now undertake discussions with a wide-range of stakeholders on the issues highlighted in the report and any implications for future policy considerations."

Full details here.


"Following the recommendations made by the Task Force on Gear Conflict this is a consultation on measures to tackle gear conflict.
Gear conflict is not an endemic issue in Scottish waters but as the intensity of use of the marine environment has increased, locally significant occurrences have increasingly come to the attention of Marine Scotland. Gear conflict can occur both within and between fleet sectors and is not conducive to the aim of ensuring fisheries are well managed. This consultation is an open discussion on proposals that could be introduced to tackle the issue of gear conflict in Scottish inshore waters."

Full details here.

Succorfish Project - August 2014

We have two inshore fisheries projects that require vessel recruitment and have sent the following information:

1) Succorfish Project.

"This project invites skippers to test the innovative Succorfish SC2 vessel monitoring and communication system on 300 inshore fishing vessels. The Succorfish SC2 system uses GPS tracking that is accurate to 2 meters, and reports vessels position, course and speed at 1 to 2 minute intervals over Automatic Identification System (AIS), which operates through a VHF safety channel. The technology will be installed on vessels at no cost to the skipper/owner, and the data will be free to view in the public domain. During and after the project the industry may use the technology to benefit their business as they see fit. This project is available to skippers operating within West coast IFGs, and is seeking voluntary participation across all fishing sectors."

Two documents with more information:

These are links to TV news stories concerning the Succorfish technology and its use in England.

2) Projects 2 &3 (Seascope): "Monitoring fishery catch to assist scientific stock assessments" & "Identifying catch composition using technology to enable self-reporting".

We are seeking 10 vessels (<10m) to partake in projects 2&3, which are complimentary
Skippers will be trained in methods of stock assessment and self reporting, over 40 days (combined for all 10 vessels)
Electronic technology for collecting fisheries data will also be tested, e.g. video cameras, GPS & rotation and hydraulic sensors
Once training is complete, skippers will be required to collect data for stock assessment purposes from October 2014 - June/July 2014, while continuing to fish commercially.
Skippers participating in projects 2&3, will receive minor financial recompense subject to successful completion of the work at the end of the project in July 2015 ( 3500 - 6000 per vessel).

Target study areas include Oban, Mallaig, Skye, Ullapool and Stornoway
The project is open to applications from vessels operating static gear (for Nephrops, lobster and crabs) and mobile gear (for Nephrops and scallops).

Skippers can register their interest with at, then they will be contacted with a more detailed description of each project and answer any questions.

Marine Protection Areas - July 2014

As of today, the 24th July 2014, 30 MPAs have been designated under the Marine (Scotland) Act and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act. These will be incorporated into the National Marine Plan and represented in National Marine Plan interactive alongside existing protected areas.

Full details here.

Alistair Sinclair, Chairman of the Scottish Creel Fisherman’s Federation said:

“The vast majority of fishermen operating around the Scottish inshore waters are creel fishermen. We support a well-managed network of MPA's as forward thinking creel fishermen recognise that practical steps are required to take better care of our inshore waters. Properly managed, the creel sector has a very low environmental impact and we acknowledge the need to enhance and protect area's from destructive fishing methods.

"We all have our part to play and if the whole industry embraces MPA's we will without doubt start the process of enhancing our marine environment creating more opportunities for communities around our coastline.”

Fife Creel Fishermen's Association join SCFF - June 2014

We are pleased to welcome the Fife Creel Fishermen's Association to the SCFF.

We look forward to working with Fife Creel Fishermen's Association and their membership with a view to securing a better future for creel fishermen wherever they may operate. There are many challenges ahead and it is only through working together that we will be better placed to promote our sector.

Food Standards Agency lines on high PSP 2014

The Food Standards Agency in Scotland undertakes monitoring for shellfish toxins as required by EU law. These naturally occurring toxins accumulate in molluscs such as mussels, oysters and razor clams and when levels breach statutory limits, harvesting of affected species is prohibited.

These toxins include:
• lipophilic toxins, including diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea;
• amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxins, which can cause disorientation and memory loss; and
• paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins which can cause numbness, breathlessness and in worst cases even death.

Most common in Scotland are the DSP causing toxins. 2013 saw unprecedented DSP levels across the country resulting in large areas of closure and an outbreak of human illness associated with the consumption of mussels from Shetland.

The toxin of most public health significance is PSP, it can be potentially lethal.
This month we have recorded the highest levels of PSP, across some shellfisheries in the West Coast of Scotland, since the FSA’s monitoring programme begun.

When toxin levels are very high in molluscs, this can indicate that toxin levels may be elevated in other species too, such as crabs and lobsters. .

Creel fishermen should therefore be aware that their catch could contain levels of PSP that may pose a risk to health. We would urge fishermen therefore to consider suspension of harvesting until current blooms subside, or undertaking increased end product testing on your catch for PSP before products are placed on the market.

Casual gatherers are strongly advised not to pick shellfish from areas subject to toxic algal blooms until those blooms have subsided.

For further information please contact your local authority or the FSA

Food Standards Agency in Scotland
St Magnus House
AB11 6NJ
Tel: 01224 285157

Inshore Fisheries Conference Perth 28th March 2014

Inshore Fisheries Conference - Scottish Creel Fishermens Federation
Members from within the Federation attended the recent Inshore Fisheries Conference in Perth on Friday of last week.

This time around we had the opportunity to set out our stall and network with many likeminded folk who share our aims and objectives. Our stall was well received and was busy throughout the day. Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary took time out to join us and allowed us the opportunity to have many photographs taken with our youngest member of the Federation, Robbie Findlay. Richard and Robbie discussed the workings of creel boats and Robbie was also given the opportunity to display his expertise on the various creels he uses to catch langoustine and lobster whilst on board the fishing vessel Venture, skippered by Jim Hawkins of Ayrshire.

We are pleased to announce that we gained many new members to varying associations and we are currently discussing with other associations the possibility of them joining our Federation. Samples of our catch were kindly contributed by James Cook of DR Collin and Son of Eyemouth and also Albert Ritchie of the North East Creel and Line Association. These were on display throughout the day and attracted much attention.

Richard in his keynote speech announced a further allocation of mackerel quota for the inshore guys, which must be applauded. He praised the success of our organisation, which makes all the hard work worthwhile. He also committed Marine Scotland to ridding us of the act of deliberate gear conflict and indicated it would not be tolerated.

The evening prior, some of us attended a civic reception hosted by Perth District Council which was a further opportunity to push the Federation forward. All in all the event must be considered a great success and the Federation would like to thank all those who attended, in particular Bally Philp and Duncan Finlayson from the Northwest Responsible Fishing Association in Kyle. Bally has been ill recently but was determined to fly the flag for the Federation and we should all wish him a speedy recovery from his illness and a return to sea as soon as possible. Well done everyone. Finally we would like to thank Richard and his officials for organising a successful event yet again. We hope to see more of you there next year.

Creel support fund established. February 21st 2014
A Scottish Creel Support Fund has been launched to help fishermen badly affected by the exceptional winter weather.

Many creel fishermen have experienced hard financial times recently due to a combination of the extreme weather which can lead to a loss of fishing gear and a reduction in catch.

400,000 has been made available by the Scottish Government which will contribute towards easing financial pressures faced by many in the industry.

Welcoming the creation of this new fund, Alistair Sinclair of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation said:

“The creation of this fund will assist beleaguered fishermen who have suffered severe losses over the past two winters. Many of these guys are the lifeblood of small rural communities and this display of support from the Scottish Government must be recognised as acknowledgement of their importance around the Scottish coastline.

We believe that this fund was created due to extensive lobbying from within the SCFF. It took much lobbying over several months to achieve the setting up of this fund. Richard Lochhead recently attended our AGM and listened attentively to representatives from every association within the Federation. It would appear the Cabinet Secretary has been sympathetic. Common sense has been applied and the outcome for creel fishermen affected by poor weather systems and returns has not been overlooked. This is a win for the Federation and others who have made representations to Marine Scotland. Well done everyone!”

Announcement and statement from Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lockhead

Link to details and application document. NOTE: applications must be submitted by March 26th 2014

SCFF AGM January 24th 2014
We held our AGM on January 24th at Inverness.

The AGM was attended by office bearers of all associations within the Federation. Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP attended with Government officials to discuss the many issues facing our industry.

A report of the meeting will be posted in due course.

Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference 2014
Perth Concert Hall, Friday 28th March

Have your say on the future of the Scottish inshore sector!

Following on from the first Scottish Inshore fisheries conference, a date has been set for the second conference in 2014. The conference will focus on building on the 2013 outcomes, as well as addressing key issues such as Data Collection, Sustainable Management of Inshore Fisheries, Marine Planning & Marine Protected Areas, and Local Marketing initiatives.

The main aim of the conference is to encourage industry to get actively involved in fisheries management, while bringing together the whole Scottish inshore fisheries industry.

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP will give a key note speech at the conference, discussing progress made over the last year as well as unveiling plans for 2014.

The one day conference will be held in Perth at The Perth Concert Hall on Friday 28th March 2014, with a Civic Reception at The Royal George Hotel on the evening of the 27th March (limited places available for the Civic Reception, please apply via the registration form to attend)



Action on Fishing Gear Conflict
15th November 2013
A Scottish Government taskforce is being established to tackle deliberate acts of gear vandalism at sea and help resolve conflicts within the fishing industry.


Full story here...

Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference 2013
A bright future for Scotland’s inshore sector

8th February 2013
Eden Court, Bishop’s Road, Inverness, IV3 5SA

Full story here...


Moray MSP backs new fishermen's group
MORAY MP Richard Lochhead has welcomed the formation of a new federation to represent creel fisherman along the Scottish coast.

Mr Lochhead said that at a meeting in Inverness last week, creel fishermen from across Scotland agreed to form a new body to represent them.

This organisation will be known as the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation.

Full story here...


MPA Announcement Met With Caution 14/12/12
Alistair Sinclair, Chair of the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation, said:

"The opportunity has presented itself through the introduction of MPAs designed to halt the further decline of the marine ecosystem in many areas around Scotland's coastline. The SCFF cautiously welcome MPA implementation with the caveat that restriction are not placed upon our membership, given creel fishing has been proven to be the most sustainable method to capture shellfish. Additionally, we hope that MPAs support the restoration of recreational sea angling and diving opportunities in Scotland."

Full story here...


TV Chef James Martin appreciates creel fishing 30/9/13

James Martin visited the west coast and came fishing with us and appreciated the quality creel caught prawn. An interesting twist on scampi, and James encouraging viewers to try what he sees as one of the finest foods in the world!

Full story here...


Marine Scotland Survey of Gear Conflict 3/10/13

FAO all federation members and non members who are fishing. It is importnant to have your say in this survey so please take a moment to fill out. If you need bigger space for comments, please contact Alan directly.

From: Alan Radford GRID Economics (Scotland) Ltd.

Marine Scotland is aware that there needs to be a better understanding of gear conflict in Scottish inshore waters. Unfortunately, much of the information required can only be obtained from those directly involved. Consequently, Marine Scotland has commissioned GRID Economics (Scotland) Ltd to undertake a Web based survey of gear conflict.

We would be very grateful if your Federation would assist with dissemination of information about how fishermen can access the on-line questionnaire to ensure their experiences and opinions are included in the survey. The link is given below:

Fishermen responding via this link are assured their individual responses will be anonymous and only aggregated results will be reported. Thus , that no individual or vessel will be identifiable. Their answers will enable Marine Scotland to better understand how often and where gear conflicts occur, the types of gear involved and the financial consequences for those affected. In addition to factual responses, there is an opportunity for fishermen to provide Marine Scotland with written comments on ANY aspect of gear conflict.