Fishing & Aquaculture

Fishing & Aquaculture

The Moray Firth supports mackerel, herring, cod and haddock, flatfish, rays and sharks. The firth is the most important plaice spawning ground in the North Sea. It is also an important nursery area for herring. The fishery of Norway lobster is now of particular importance. Other commercial species include squid, scallops, crabs and lobster.

A study of the waters off Culbin Sands observed that many species such as flatfish and bottom feeders like the cod family move out to the sea in autumn and return every summer in the breeding season. Other fish – such as goby and stickleback – remain all year round, alongside shrimps, shore and hermit crabs.

The Marine Scotland Inshore Fisheries Strategy 2015 outlines the vision to support the development of a more sustainable, profitable and well-managed inshore fisheries sector in Scotland. Marine Scotland aim to do this by modernising the management of our inshore fisheries in Scotland and reaping long-term sustainable rewards for the inshore sector, the marine environment and our coastal communities.

The Moray Firth Coastal Partnership will work with the North & East Coast Regional Inshore Fisheries Group (NECRIFG) to identify areas where we can add value to the work of the group, highlight competing and complementary marine priorities and help provide sustainable solutions in support of the Fisheries Management Plan which aims to deliver:-

  • Sustainable fishing in inshore waters 0-6nm
  • A more profitable inshore sector
  • Well managed inshore fisheries

Marine Scotland is responsible for controlling the activities of all fishing vessels operating within the Moray Firth out to 200nm. It is also responsible for managing and controlling the activities of Scottish vessels wherever they may fish – including fishing effort and quota. More information on the role of the Scottish Government & Marine Scotland can be found on their website.

We will work with the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation who are dedicated to preserving and promoting the collective interests of Scottish fisherman’s association whilst ensuring a sustainable future for our fisheries.

Shellfish cultivation also takes place in the Moray Firth and we share the vision of the Aquaculture 2030 Strategy of a thriving seafood sector.

Our Vision is for the local fishing and aquaculture industry to have pioneered progressive initiatives that address environmental and economic stability, with the Moray Firth celebrated for its responsibly sourced, quality seafood.

To do this we will work with individuals, businesses and organisations involved in the fishing and aquaculture sector, to promote environmental sustainability, highlighting and addressing issues in a collaborative way.

In looking to promote sustainable managed sourcing of seafood we recommend the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide.