Council calls for ban on industrial gillnetting

The council is to request a ban on the controversial practice of gillnetting amid growing concerns about its impact on marine wildlife and the local fishing fleet.

Members of the SIC’s development committee today (Tuesday)  agreed for a letter to be drafted to the Scottish government calling for an end to the practice in boats over 15 metres.

Presenting a report to the committee development director Neil Grant said there had been “significant attempts” to raise the issue with UK and Scottish governments over a period of up to 15 years – but “limited progress” had been made.

Mr Grant’s report said intensive gill netting by foreign vessels had become more prolific in Shetland waters.

It has led to complaints from Shetland Fishermen’s Association, Shetland Greens councillor Alex Armitage and Fishing Forward – a campaign group, which organised a protest in Lerwick last month.

Critics of the practice say its use of large walls of monofilament netting, which hang in the sea for long periods of time, pose a significant threat to marine wildlife.

Lost or discarded nets are also considered a plastic pollution hazard – and can become tangled up in the gear of local fishing vessels.

Mr Grant said his report was aimed at raising awareness about the economic and environmental issues associated with gillnetting.

Members agreed for the letter to be drafted and signed by Mr Grant, development chairman Dennis Leask and SIC leader Emma Macdonald.


Add Your Comment
  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • September 6th, 2022 18:36

    What a load of hypocrisy. Scottish government calling for an end to the practice in boats over 15 metres. Why 15 meters? The ban should be on all boats gillnetting. Self interest to the fore and f@~/ the environment. How very typical.


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