Fishing has great economic and cultural value in Scotland and is closely linked to the conservation of our marine natural heritage.

Fisheries seek out a wide variety of fish and shellfish in Scottish waters and fishing is seen as one of the major influences on our marine biodiversity.

NatureScot aims to:

  • improve the sustainability of Scottish fisheries
  • minimise the negative effects of fishing on marine species and habitats

Supplying fresh fish and shellfish is one of the most important services that the marine environment provides to the Scottish economy. But the productivity of fishing stocks is closely linked to the quality of the marine environment.

Careful management of fisheries thus makes sense for both biodiversity and the success of the fishing industry.

Our approach to marine fisheries

NatureScot believes there is great scope for positive changes in the way that Scottish fisheries are managed and operated, to benefit biodiversity and support the healthy functioning of marine ecosystems.

NatureScot has a role in providing advice on the interactions between fishing and marine biodiversity, and we work closely with:

  • Marine Scotland
  • the fishing industry
  • the academic community

While fishing and the conservation of marine habitats and species are often portrayed as being in conflict, the key relationships between marine fisheries and the quality of the marine environment are increasingly recognised.

Careful management of Scottish fisheries and the ecosystems that support them, therefore, need to go hand in hand.

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