Monday 24 June 2024
 12.2°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / Carmichael vents anger at gillnetting inaction

Alistair Carmichael. Photo: Shetland News

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has expressed his frustration with the “glacial” speed governments in Westminster and Edinburgh are responding to the gillnetting crisis in the waters off Shetland.

During a parliamentary debate on the environment earlier this week the Orkney and Shetland MP highlighted the damage caused by gill netters.

Challenging the SNP in the Westminster parliament Carmichael said it was “incomprehensible” that both the Scottish and the UK governments continued to allow industrial-scale fishing with gillnets.

He said the fishing method did not just leave a “massive amount of plastic pollution, but is an utterly unsustainable way of catching fish”.

Defending the Scottish Government’s stance on the issue, the SNP shadow spokesperson for the rural affairs Deirdre Brock said Marine Scotland was developing a Scottish marine protected area monitoring strategy.

“These are things that the Scottish Government are of course looking at—I am not sure about the UK Government’s position,” she said.

“He [Carmichael] will know that Marine Scotland and its partners have developed a Scottish marine protected area monitoring strategy, which will look at issues such as he has raised. 

“It also intends to add to the existing marine protected areas network, which will cover at least 10 per cent of Scotland’s seas, and is introducing a strengthened framework to help address situations such as the one he describes.

“I am well aware of the issues associated with gillnet fishing and the accumulated debris that it results in. We should certainly continue to press all governments on that matter, at all times. I am very much aware of that.”

Carmichael said: “There may be a heatwave in the UK at the moment but the pace of action on gillnetting remains glacial. 

“I have lost count of the number of ‘strategies’ and ‘consultations’ that have been launched over the years but in the meantime the amount of plastic pollution and other environmental harm only increases. 

“Both governments have a role to play and they must act now – it is time to end unsustainable gillnetting practices in our waters for good.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.