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News round-up / Fish stocks research, Safer internet day, Scord quarry on show, Local fiddlers at Tradfest

Fish stock assessment do not reflect the real world according to fishermen. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Fishermen’s Association has raised doubts about the system used to assess the sustainability of fish stocks and have claimed that it can result in counterproductive management decisions.

Arbitrary targets for maximum sustainable yield, or MSY, are a political commitment rather than a biological necessity, an expert paper produced by the association argues.

The paper argues that the method does not reflect the “complexity, variability and uncertainty of the real world”.

The swingeing cut to the North Sea cod quota for 2020 was a political requirement to meet an arbitrary target based on what the cod stock was in 1996, the paper points out.

In the real world it is not possible to identify the actual maximum sustainable yield of a fish stock “since we lack a sufficiently detailed understanding of the relationships between the size of fish stocks and their recruitment and growth, as well as density-depending factors such as competition and predation that affect their production”.

SAFE online gaming has been picked by Shetland’s digital safety committee as its focus for safer internet day, which is taking place today (Tuesday).

The committee, which works under the Shetland Public Protection committee, wants to raise awareness of the issue locally.

The public protection committee has teamed up with George Robertson Ltd, with the business’ staff on hand to give advice this week and show people how to set up parental settings on consoles.

The retailer will also post tutorials on safe settings on its Facebook page, while Shetland Library will raise awareness on social media too. Posters have also been designed by Imogen Leslie.

Shetland Public Protection Committee chairman Tam Bailie said: “Online gaming has always been popular because of the opportunity to be immersed in the excitement of the game.

“For children and young people this is great as long as they remember to be aware of simple rules to keep themselves safe which are the same for all internet safety – Safer Internet Day is about raising awareness of these.

“For parents, it is good to be curious about the games played as this helps them understand the pull of the game and to exercise judgement in maintaining safe practices.”

Scord Quarry. Photo: Michael Peterson

SCOTLAND’s centre for design and architecture The Lighthouse is hosting an exhibition of photographs by Lerwick man Michael Peterson.

Two Quarries consist of 70 images and show his take on Shetland’s Scord and Moray’s Clashach quarries.

Unlike the Shetland operation which produces stone for civil engineering projects in the islands, Clashach’s unique sandstone properties are greatly sought after for prestigious building and monumental projects worldwide.

The exhibition opened on Monday and runs until 26 April.

A SHOWCASE of some of Shetland’s top fiddle talent will take place at a special show at upcoming festival Edinburgh Tradfest.

Kevin Henderson, Margaret Robertson, Chris Stout, Ross Couper and Catriona Macdonald will all perform at the Shetland Springs show at the Traverse Theatre on 10 May.

Organisers say the event will be a “special collaboration that promises riotous reels, heartfelt airs and a special meeting of musical friendships”.

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021