Fisheries management in Scotland is guided by the principles underpinning the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which was introduced to make fishing grounds a common resource to all Member States.
The most important of these principles are:
- The precautionary approach, which avoids the likelihood of stock collapse or significant impact on the supporting environment. Precautionary approaches can involve regulations, incentives and spatial planning of fishing activity, up to and including prohibition They lead the management of fisheries in a way that conserves the reproductive capacity of marine resources, initiates corrective measures without delay, and limits exploitation where productivity is uncertain.
- The ecosystem approach, which takes into account both the knowledge and the uncertainties of interacting biological, chemical, physical and human components in the marine environment
As a result of the CFP, fishing vessels in Scotland are highly restricted and well-regulated in their activities through licences, quota allocation, days at sea allocations, technical measures and area restrictions. All catches must be recorded in a log book, declared prior to landing, and can only be made at designated ports.