Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Plans to introduce restrictive HPMAs in 10% of Scotland’s seas have officially been cancelled.

Scottish Government Minister Màiri McAllan announced her party will no longer pursue the plans to restrict fishing in some of Scotland’s fishing grounds.

Ms McAllan said: “The proposal to implement Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) across 10% of Scotland’s seas by 2026 will not be progressed.”

The policy was aimed to protect sea life under threat but was met with a huge backlash from concerned fishermen and coastal communities.

In June, Ms Allan said HPMAs would no longer be implemented on schedule by 2026 as government ministers went back to the drawing board.

It came weeks after leading figures from the country’s seafood sector held a major protest outside Holyrood.

Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said:

“We welcome today’s confirmation by the Scottish Government that it will not seek to ban fishing in at least 10% of Scottish waters. But ministers need to maintain that position and not bring in similar measures through other routes.  

What’s important is that we have an approach to conservation that balances marine protection with sustainable use, as the government’s existing policies should be aiming to achieve.”