Dutch look to Scotland for ways to save fish stocks

A DELEGATION representing the Netherlands government and fishing industry is in Edinburgh on a fact finding mission.

Delegates will examine Scotland's pioneering conservation scheme to protect fragile stocks.

This initiative rewards skippers who help protect stocks through a series of measures, ranging from the closure of fishing grounds to protect reproducing fish, changes in catching gear to allow non target fish to escape and the use of on-board cameras to record catches.

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Louize Hill of WWF Scotland said: "It's great news the Scottish conservation credit scheme has attracted the attention of other fishing nations. Since its introduction in 2008 the scheme has played a significant role in protecting stocks, such as cod, that remain at very low levels"

Emilie Hugenholtz, of WWF Netherlands, said a fishermen's cooperative was already planning a pilot scheme involving onboard cameras to monitor catches.

Richard Lochhead, Scotland's fisheries secretary, said: "Scotland's many unilateral actions on conservation is evidence of the responsible manner adopted by Scottish fishermen."