Scottish cupboard secretary for rural affairs and islands Mairi Gougeon considers the function of Scotland’s fishing business in responding to the local weather emergency
For 2 weeks this month, the eyes of the world might be on Glasgow because the UN Local weather Change Convention of the Events – or COP26 as it’s generally identified – takes place. It have to be a catalyst for governments to maneuver from making guarantees to taking the actions we want now with the intention to safeguard our planet.
For Scotland, it’s a chance to focus on the motion we have now taken already, but in addition a reminder that we have to do much more. The response to the local weather emergency should come from governments of all ranges, all of us as people and each sector of our economic system.
Because the Scottish authorities cupboard secretary liable for fishing, I do know the very important function the business performs in Scotland’s rural and island economic system and our foods and drinks sector. It has a significant function to play in our local weather change story too.
Scotland’s fishing business offers a nutritious supply of meals with a decrease carbon footprint than many different animal proteins. But it surely additionally finds itself on the entrance line of local weather change. Our seas and marine ecosystems are already underneath stress, and onerous selections are wanted to safeguard our wealthy marine setting.
Critical challenges additionally come from working in a shared marine area, and the necessity to scale back emissions and adapt to the modifications we’re already starting to see. We have to take motion now to make sure that a sustainable fishing business can survive into the longer term.
Tackling the local weather emergency is vital to Scotland’s Future Fisheries Administration Technique, our motion plan to help our ambition to be a world-class fishing nation. By way of this we’re investing in analysis to assist develop our understanding round fish shares, supporting modifications to sustainable and revolutionary fishing strategies, and inspiring higher use of native markets and shorter provide chains to minimise the carbon footprint of our unbelievable Scottish fish.
Blue carbon – habitats like seagrass, kelp forests and saltmarshes, which mitigate local weather change and retailer carbon in our marine setting – is an space of giant potential for Scotland, and would be the focus of a world convention I’ll open throughout COP26.
We’re additionally launching a survey, to be adopted up with workshops in early 2022, to map out what the Scottish authorities can do to help the fishing business because it responds to the local weather problem. I’d encourage everybody with an curiosity in Scottish fisheries to have interaction. From session on proposals to co-management in fisheries to the dedication to a Seafood Technique, we’re dedicated to working with the fishing business.
However we are able to’t keep away from the onerous selections and troublesome conversations that lie forward. All of us must problem ourselves and one another to reply to the local weather emergency, and Scotland’s fishing business will as soon as once more be examined.
The Scottish authorities, nonetheless, is dedicated to a simply transition which is honest for everybody. Which means we’ll help Scotland’s fishing business, the broader seafood provide chain and our coastal and island communities by means of the financial and social challenges forward.
All of us wish to defend our local weather, safeguard our marine setting and construct a robust, sustainable and resilient fishing business. It’s the actions all of us take collectively that may obtain the change we want and ship financial, social and environmental profit into the longer term.