From our beginning we have worked with fishing organisations to protect the seabed and restore diverse and productive seas that benefit fishers and all other businesses, which rely on sustainable coastal and maritime ecosystems.
Regional Inshore Fisheries Groups
Scotland’s RIFGs are exclusively for commercial fishermen and government and “aim to improve the management of inshore fisheries (…) and to give commercial inshore fishermen a strong voice in wider marine management developments”.
For years, COAST has called for a more balanced governance system, such as the English equivalent, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). These includes all marine stakeholders to: “lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry” and gives more decision-making powers to these groups for protection, compliance and scientific research (See for example the Devon and Severn IFCA website).
Commercial Fishermen Associations
Despite supporting more jobs around the coastline of Scotland than any other type of fishery, creel fishermen are generally underrepresented at many fishing associations. The same happens with scallop divers who account for 5% of commercial landings in Scotland. The Scottish Creel Fishermen Federation is the national trade association for the creel fishing industry.
The Scottish Fishermens Federation is the umbrella organisation of most regional fishing associations in Scotland. The Clyde Fishing Association is our regional fishing left this group in 2017 to join the Communities Inshore Fisheries Alliance.
Recreational Fishing Associations
Each year the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network visit Arran and many other coastal communities to show young people how to cast a line and introduce them to sustainable sea angling. Because of the dramatic loss of white fish in Lamlash Bay during the 70’s and 80’s fewer and fewer people know how to do this.
The Salmon and Trout Conservation Network are challenging damaging salmon farming development in inshore waters because of the impact on wild salmon, we have supported their case and signed joint petitions to stop the salmon industry.
We collaborate with organisations like the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust and Open Seas who have published very revealing and informative articles on issues such as the socioeconomic impacts of MPAs, illegal fishing or seabed reform.
Fish Legal is another association that “fights pollution and other damage to the water environment throughout the UK”.