In January 2021 a judge ruled that Scottish Ministers acted unlawfully in blocking a proposed no-trawler scheme. The case, brought on behalf of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation (SCFF) by Fish Legal, was a game changer for the environment and highlighted the positive effects of creel-only inshore fishing of high value Nephrops (langoustine).
Lady Poole of the Court of Session found that the Scottish Government had acted irrationally in failing to decide the Pilot Proposal in accordance with its own Pilot scheme guidelines and quashed the decision to reject the Pilot. The Pilot proposal was put forward by the North West Responsible Fishing Association (NWRFA) 2018 and was designed to test the economic and environmental advantages of static gear fishing as opposed to trawled fishing gear.
On the 26th February, the Scottish Government then lodged an appeal against the January ruling requiring them to reconsider a sustainable fishing pilot in the Inner Sound of Skye.
Despite the earlier Judgement clearly stating that the Scottish Government should reassess the Pilot proposal the Scottish Government were successful in their appeal having argued that the Pilot will serve no practical purpose.