SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod has joined SNP Councillor for Dee ward Tommy Jacques in highlighting a new consultation published by the Scottish Government last week on scallop fishing regulations.
Kirkcudbright is the winter base for a sizeable scallop fleet using the Irish Sea fishery. In addition to that, local processing of scallops is a significant source of employment in the Stewartry.
Dr McLeod commented: “This is an important consultation for the scallop fishing industry, which makes a substantial contribution to the region’s economy, both through fishing and processing.
“Recent years have seen a number of developments which affect the industry including the temporary closure of Luce Bay and the total closure of the Irish Sea fishery pending a deal on fishing effort allocations.
“So it is very important, in my view, that the industry locally responds to the consultation, particularly in relation to the proposals on numbers of dredges and sizes of scallops that can be landed legally.”
Cllr Jacques added: “Scallop fishing is of major significance to Kirkcudbright and this region as a whole, but its significance has not always been widely recognised. I think it is crucial that those involved with the industry locally take the time to look at this consultation and have a robust engagement with the Scottish Government.
“I look forward to discussing these proposals with the scallop fishermen – they are the experts in their industry – and it is my intention to organise a meeting of local fishing interests to get their views first hand.”