GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Sunday 19 May 2024
 12.1°C   SE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / Councillors remind government not to ignore fishing industry in energy development

Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND councillors have sought to remind the Scottish Government that the fishing industry cannot be ignored in offshore renewable development.

The issue cropped up in debate on Friday morning whilst elected members discussed Shetland Islands Council’s (SIC) response to a government consultation on future energy strategy.

Fishing is a key part of the council’s response, with the local authority saying it is “extremely concerned” about the level of interest in further offshore wind development and the impact it may have on the industry.

It claims that the marine planning process for offshore wind has been “woefully inadequate and needs to be overhauled to emphasise the impact of energy developments on the existing very successful national fishing industry”.

Shetland South member and depute convener Bryan Peterson brought up the use of the term “co-existence” between marine energy development and fisheries in the consultation response.

He said he felt that was a “passive” term.

Peterson said he would like to offer assurance to the marine sector that “co-existence wouldn’t just mean tolerance”.

Shetland Central councillor Davie Sandison said he was keen to see language strengthened about the industry.

There has been significant concern from the Shetland fishing industry itself about future offshore wind development and how it may impact its traditional grounds.

Sandison said the Scottish Government would need to “recognise that they can’t just willy nilly ignore the fishing industry”.

“So far the evidence doesn’t make me feel comfortable that that’s embedded well enough in Scottish Government understanding of the significance of that sector,” he said.

Council leader Emma Macdonald agreed, saying it was important for the government to get the message that it cannot lose sight of other sectors.

It comes as the Scottish Government continues to remain under fire for proposals to designate a portion of the country’s waters as highly protected marine areas, in which fishing would be banned.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Meanwhile Green councillor Alex Armitage said he sometimes gets the impression that the Scottish Government sees the fishing industry as “peripheral” and does not view it as having much importance beyond employing people in rural areas.

He successfully argued for a mention of the environmental benefits of fish as food to be included in a covering letter with the response.

He said fishermen have a “huge role to play in helping to decarbonise our food system”.

“I feel strongly that whenever we talk about fishing in public and with Scottish ministers…that this point about decarbonising our food industry is a really important one to make,” Armitage said.

He added that stressing this point could encourage Scottish ministers to take more notice of the industry.

A spokesperson previously said the Scottish Government “fully understands the need to balance the growth of the offshore renewables sector and protection for the marine environment with continued investment in Scotland’s seafood and wider marine sectors and the communities and jobs which rely on them”.

They said it had been “engaging closely with the fishing industry” as offshore wind plans develop.

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.