Fishery, aquaculture and seafood socio-economic profiling across the Highland Council region of Scotland

Over the next few months Crick Carleton will be preparing a quantitatively based and accessible overview of the socio-economic contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to the local economy across the Highland Council region of Scotland. The rationale behind this study is to provide an accessible evidence base that can be used when describing the scale of the fishery, aquaculture and seafood economy in the Highland area in support of policy and economic development within the sector and region.

The work forms a part of the work plan of the Highland & Moray Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), a community-led initiative under Axis 4 of the European Marine and Fisheries Fund, 2014-2020, and is match funded by Highland Council

The study will capture activities at the large scale - major ports, salmon producers, etc., but also the small scale. A key feature of the Highlands seafood economy, and one that distinguishes it from most other parts of the Scotland and the UK, is the predominance of small scale activity located in highly dispersed smaller rural communities around the particularly extensive and remote coastline of the Highlands region. The social and economic fabric of a high proportion of these communities, compared to elsewhere in Scotland and the UK, is integrally bound up in, and reliant on, the continued health and well-being of this sector. 

Having a comprehensive study and baseline data will allow:

  • Access to a broader and deeper picture of the local seafood economy
  • Baseline data collected to be used to identify key trends impacting on the local industry
  • Targeting of potential sectors/areas for development/growth
  • Informed analysis of potential impacts of a post-Brexit industry.

This work builds on Crick's pioneering work across a dozen years or more through studies on sustainable coastal fisheries management / Project Inshore / Project UK in parts of England, and socio-economic profiling work covering most parts of Scotland, including Dumfries & Galloway, the Isle of Mull, the Isle of Skye, North East Scotland, the Western Isles, the North Highlands, and more.