Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Scottish Fishing Boats Photo: Colin Smith, Wiki CC
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer
Scottish fishers are scrambling to stay afloat during COVID-19, and Brexit red-tape is making it even harder. Attempts to navigate new border checks and customs rules have been met with paperwork issues and administrative errors, causing delays in shipments to the European Union. Trade organization Scotland Food and Drink estimates industry losses of $1.4 million per day, threatening the livelihoods of workers who have been fishing for generations. Fishers drove to London and threatened to dump rotting shellfish in front of parliament buildings if export delays continue.
Why This Matters: Brexit isn’t the only thing threatening the Scottish fishing industry. As the North Sea warms, fish distributions shift and change, and experts say Scottish fisheries are largely unprepared. Additionally, a recent report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) established in a recent paper that coastal communities, especially those that rely on fishing as a source of income, are uniquely equipped to fight climate change. One expert explained, “the fishing industry generates a wealth of relevant information that has yet to be fully utilized.” Without a solution, thousands could lose their jobs, and the United Kingdom could lose a valuable tool in the fight against climate change.
Catch and Release
“Scotland’s fishing grounds in the North Sea are a global hotspot for warming waters… The fishing industry doesn’t fully appreciate the scale of changes that have already taken place and will continue to impact fish over the foreseeable future.” – Dr. Tara Marshall, University of Aberdeen
Scottish fisheries are now taking drastic measures to sell their seafood and prevent further losses. Some fisheries are now flying live lobster and crab to Asia, while others are sending workers on 72-hour round trips through Denmark to circumvent the new regulations. The most extreme: some fisheries have resorted to throwing their catches back into the ocean to avoid wasting unsold product.
Scottish fisherman drove hours from Scotland to protest in front of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s residence, 10 Downing Street. Protesters expressed their grievances to reporters, citing that the regulations set up by the December 24, 2020 trade deal left only a week for regulators to familiarize themselves with the new rules before they kicked in on January 1, 2021. Jamie McMillan, the managing director of Loch Fyne Seafarms and Loch Fyne Langoustines, said in a video posted to social media, “we’ve been made a fool of by the Westminster government. It’s an absolute disgrace what we’ve had to go through.”
One More Thing
Fish is one of the most sustainable sources of protein on earth. Fish don’t require large swaths of land or agricultural systems to provide them with food and research shows that dietary shifts could play a key role in fighting climate change. Nathan Pelletier, an ecological economist and industrial ecologist, explains, “abundant fisheries, from a climate change perspective, will be less greenhouse gas intensive.”
UNESCO has launched a new program to collect, analyze, and monitor environmental DNA (AKA eDNA) to better understand biodiversity at its marine World Heritage sites. Scientists will collect genetic material from fish cells, mucus, and waste across multiple locations along with eDNA from soil, water, and air. The two-year project will help experts assess […]
It’s about time we had a conversation about the birds and the bees…or in this case, the otters and the seagrass. A new study found that the ecological relationship between sea otters and the seagrass fields where they make their home is spurring the rapid reproduction of the plants. Otters dig up about 5% of […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor An abandoned oil tanker off the coast of Yemen is deteriorating rapidly, and experts say that a hull breach could have far-reaching environmental impacts and threaten millions of people’s access to food and water supplies. The FSO SAFER tanker holds 1.1 million barrels of oil — more than four […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.