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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-05752

  • Asked by: Karen Adam, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Scottish National Party
  • Date lodged: 14 January 2022
  • Current status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Mairi Gougeon on 17 January 2022


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on progress drafting the Joint Fisheries Statement under the Fisheries Act 2020.


Section 2 of The Fisheries Act 2020 (the Act) requires the fisheries policy authorities (UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, and Northern Irish Executive) to prepare and publish a Joint Fisheries Statement that:

  • sets out the policies of the fisheries policy authorities for achieving, or contributing to the achievement of, the fisheries objectives in the Act;
  • contains a statement explaining the use the fisheries policy authorities propose to make of fisheries management plans in order to achieve, or contribute to the achievement of, those fisheries objectives; and
  • contains a statement explaining how those fisheries objectives have been interpreted and proportionately applied in formulating those policies and proposals.

Work on a draft Statement has been undertaken in recent months with officials from each of the administrations collaborating and sharing proposed content to ensure that each fisheries policy authority’s interests and needs have been properly taken account of. Having agreed the content of the Joint Fisheries Statement, under Schedule 1 to the Act (at paragraph 3), each of the fisheries policy authorities is required to lay a consultation draft of the JFS before the appropriate legislature and to specify a period for its scrutiny. In addition, the Act enables an appropriate legislative body to pass a resolution on the consultation draft of the JFS, or enables an appropriate legislative Committee to make a recommendation on it.

The Scottish Parliament is of course the appropriate legislature to consider the consultation draft of the JFS and I am announcing that it is my intention to lay the Joint Fisheries Statement in the Scottish Parliament for scrutiny on 17 January 2022. The document can be found here: Consultation on the draft Joint Fisheries Statement - Scottish Government - Citizen Space

The Act also requires the fisheries policy authorities to specify a “scrutiny period”. I am proposing that this period should run from 17 January – 25 February 2022. This will allow the Scottish Parliament to synchronise its scrutiny process with the other UK legislatures. I have also written to the Rural Affairs Islands and Natural Environment committee today to advise them of this timeframe, given that they may be asked to undertake scrutiny on behalf of the Parliament.

It is also our intention that the draft JFS will be the subject of a public consultation from 18 January – 12 April 2022.