First ministerial candidate pledges to scrap HPMAs if elected

MSP Kate Forbes, who is hoping to be elected as Scottish first minister next week, has said she will scrap a controversial fishing policy if she gets in.

Mrs Forbes has pledged not to proceed with highly protected marine areas (HPMAs) if she becomes first minister.

The Scottish government is currently consulted on HPMAs, which will see 10 per cent of Scottish waters closed to fishing.

The policy has been met with widespread opposition from fishermen, who claim it will have a “devastating” and “catastrophic” effect on them.

Mrs Forbes has said she would commission a feasibility study into devolving marine powers to local authorities, such as the SIC, instead.

Referring to HPMAs she said: ““I cannot understand why anyone, particularly when we are deliberately trying to stem depopulation in rural areas, thought it would be a good idea to take such a blanket approach.”

She called the proposals “how not to do government”.

The ballot for the SNP leadership race will close at midday on Monday, 27th March.


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