Highlands & Islands

Inner Moray Firth fishing limits suggested

Fisherman
Image caption Crews of smaller vessels had raised concerns

Restrictions could be placed on large trawlers which fish in the Inner Moray Firth.

Operators of smaller vessels have raised concerns about the impact they are having on the fishery.

Fishermen from Burghead, near Elgin, have met other operators and representatives from the Scottish White Fish Producers Association.

The parties agreed that a plan should be drawn up outlining any restrictions, along with a code of conduct.

The proposed limits would affect vessels with twin rigging which exceed 39ft in length and 300 horsepower.

Last month, the Scottish government and fishermen agreed a course of action designed to relieve pressure on prawn fishing off the west coast.

West coast fishermen had complained that trawlers from Scotland's east coast threatened this year's fishing.

They feared the EU limit on the time vessels are permitted to fish would be reached earlier than normal and that the fishery would be closed.

Most east crews have been barred from the west until the end of the year.

The temporary measure applied to east coast registered vessels that did not fish for more than 60 days on the west coast last year.

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