Welcome to CIFA's first blog! We are glad to have you here. CIFA in its very basic concept was born around 2 years ago. A number of Fishing Associations, largely on the West Coast of Scotland initially, grouped together to consider how fishing could reach out and be more proactive in supporting its communities, developing policy and projects and promoting the core messages of sustainable fishing.
With the advent of Brexit and the evolving constitutional arrangements in the UK and in Scotland, the need to push the idea of CIFA into a reality became vital.
The fishing industry itself is a patchwork of large, medium and small businesses and boats, each with their own social and commercial priorities. There are common threads which run through the whole of the Scottish fleet, issues like safety, sustainable catching and gear development. However fishing infrastructure and investment varies greatly all along the Scottish Coastline. There is a majority consensus amongst most fishermen that leaving the EU offers the potential of opportunity to do things differently, and if approached correctly, in a far better way for all.
However at this time of great potential and optimism which is generally shared, there are a range of options, possibilities and opinions on what the new face of fishing might look like. The coastal fleet offers great potential all around the coast for its communities, but its essential to ensure this coastal fleet has a visible place in developing policy. Worries in respect to EU trade and continuation of livelihood as well as the need to upgrade the fleet and infrastructure post Brexit are clear. Proactive solutions are required. At this time, more than any other in the last 40 years, the need to ensure that all sectors of the fishing industries have a clear and equal voice is essential. CIFA is about providing that voice.