The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has been highlighting initiatives to support the crucial creel vessel sector of the fishing industry – which has an important role to play in Fife.
With creel vessels representing an important element of the SFF’s constituent association membership, the issues were raised at the recent Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference.
The SFF promoted its participation in the ACRUNET initiative to support the brown crab sector.
ACRUNET aims to develop a transnational approach for the catching, transport and selling of brown crab that will ensure the supply of a high quality and sustainable product to the main European markets.
Objectives include the building of an industry/science interface that will feed into management and policy for crab at regional and international levels, and to develop quality standards to ensure consistent delivery of a high quality and sustainably caught product.
Malcolm Morrison, SFF Fisheries Policy Officer, said: “Brown crab is one of the mainstays of the Scottish creel fleet and we are working hard to develop a supply chain framework that will ensure the fishery has a profitable and sustainable future.”
At the conference, the SFF also promoted the importance of safety through its initiative to supply free Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to every fisherman in Scotland who holds the required mandatory certification.
Derek Cardno, SFF Safety Officer, said that many creel fishermen across Scotland have already responded to the PFD project and have received their free device but many more have still to apply.
“Creel fishermen often work alone, and as some very recent survival stories of single-handed fishermen have shown, wearing a PFD really can give you a second chance in man overboard situations,” he said.