The Scottish fishing industry has warned that the draft Marine Bill must not sacrifice commercial interests to protect the coastline.

The Scottish government this week launched a consultation on the Bill, in which it proposed improved conservation, investment in renewable energy, and measures to ensure a future for marine industries.
It also advocated the creation of a body called Marine Scotland to act as a champion for Scottish seas.
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomed measures aimed at economic growth, but stressed that there needed to be a balance between the needs of the fishing industry to harvest the seas and the protection of the marine ecosystem.

“What must not happen is for Scotland’s seas to turn into a glorified marine aquarium,” said SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong. “In the terrestrial environment, farming operations, urban development and conservation areas co-exist together. It is essential that the same kind of balance is achieved for our seas.”