In response to mounting concern around climate change, the Scottish Government has set targets to achieve net-zero by 2045, and through the Future Fisheries Management (FFM) Strategy 2020-2030 to support the fishing industry to take action to mitigate the sector’s climate change related impacts. The overarching aim of the FFM Strategy is to ensure that fishing is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. The transition to net zero will be challenging for the fishing sector, which relies heavily on fossil fuels, but also presents an opportunity to create a positive impact. This study aimed to identify interventions undertaken in Scotland, the UK and EU (2010 – 2021) to reduce climate related impacts from the marine wild capture fisheries sector. This information can help shape best practice within the fishing industry, while building more resilient businesses and supply chains that support sustainable, local and rural economies.
A comprehensive literature review identified specific interventions taken in Scotland, the UK and EU to reduce the climate related impacts of the marine wild capture fisheries sector. The outputs of the literature review were complemented with a series of stakeholder interviews to collate information and opinions of direct experiences, including any challenges (perceived or experienced) and opportunities with regards to reducing fisheries impacts on climate change. By comparing interventions aimed at reducing the impact of fisheries on climate change in Scotland, with those elsewhere, it was possible to identify key gaps in the Scottish approach. These results were synthesised to provide recommendations for actions that could be most effective in Scotland at reducing the climate impacts associated with sea fisheries.