THE UK’s largest fishing association has welcomed the introduction of a new regulation that restricts bottom trawling in areas of very deep water to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems.
The Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association backs the EU regulation, approved in December 2016 and brought into force from today, which prevents boats from trawling at depths of greater than 800m.
The SWFPA has liaised closely with green organisations such as the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition to ensure that the new policy benefits both the marine environment and the fishing industry.
SWFPA chairman David Milne said: ‘Our association has a long-standing commitment to maintaining biodiversity and the protection of marine ecosystems, especially those that we know little about.
‘We are heartened that additional protection will now be given to these fragile marine communities about which fishermen, in common with other members of society, care very much.
‘Our commitment to the environment and sustainability will be maintained in the post-Brexit era.’
SWFPA is the largest association of fishermen in the UK, representing more than 200 vessels and 1,200 men.
Formed in 1943, the association has played a key role in the recovery of North East Atlantic fish stocks, in addition to the protection of vulnerable cold water corals and other special features, such as those seen on Rockall bank.