Scotland: Tension Between Govt And Fisherman As Policy Likened To ‘The Clearances’

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

There are reports of continued tension between fishing communities in Scotland and the Scottish government over Marine Protection Zones created off the West Coast which the Scottish government say are vital to protect biodiversity and allow sea-bed areas damaged by over fishing to recover.

However Scottish fishermen’s leaders say some protected areas are depriving local communities of a living and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has emotively claimed there is a danger of “modern day clearances” as a result of the protection zones.

The analogy to he ‘Highland Clearances’ (Scottish Gaelic: Fuadach nan Gàidheal, the “eviction of the Gael”) the forced displacement during the 18th and 19th centuries of a significant number of people from traditional land tenancies in the Scottish Highlands, where they had practised small-scale agriculture is a powerful one as the event is still a emotive part of the psyche of the Western Highlands.

Last month there were demonstrations at the Scottish parliament and now with alleged incursions into the MPAs (marine protected areas) the Scottish government are reportedly deploying Marine Protection Vessels.

The great irony is whilst the Scottish government squabble with their own indigenous fishing communities over conservation much greater damage is being wrought further off the West coasts of Scotland and Ireland by the ‘monster’ super trawlers which are processing hundreds of tonnes of fish daily a fact we reported on from off N W Donegal in November and December last year.

Whilst the efforts of national governments in the Celtic countries to create Marine Conservation Areas are to be commended they should operate this policy in tandem with securing offshore stocks for their indigenous fishing communities.

Photo: Scottish Maritime Patrol Vessel MPV Minna

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

21/02/16

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The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

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Mannin Branch Celtic League's photo.
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