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Shaping the Future of Scotland's Fisheries

Driving adaptation and resilience to climate change and ocean acidification.

29 January 2024

We've been awarded a significant contract aimed at informing Scotland's fisheries policies, specifically focusing on driving adaptation and resilience to climate change and ocean acidification. The contract, awarded through ClimateXChange – Scotland’s centre of expertise on climate change, reinforces our ongoing commitment to sustainable, regenerative practices, and support to the fishing industry in tackling some of the prolific challenges presented by global warming.

As a trusted environmental consulting partner, we will use our technical and scientific expertise in research, stakeholder engagement and policy development to assist the Scottish Government in formulating evidence-based strategies. The contracted research seeks to address the evolving impacts in climate, and ocean acidification on Scotland’s fisheries, in order to support the long-term viability and resilience of this vital industry.

Our environmental experts will conduct comprehensive desk-based research to analyse and assess the potential impacts of climate change on commercially important fish stock species. This effort aims to gain a holistic understanding of climate change and ocean acidification effects on Scotland’s fisheries, a pivotal component of the country's thriving 'blue economy'. Specifically, by analysing this hugely diverse sector’s literature, engaging with its stakeholders, and evaluating its existing policies, our experts will aim to deliver invaluable insights and scientific evidence that will contribute to shaping future robust policies and adaptive management approaches in Scotland.

David Vale, Principal Consultant at BMT, said: “This project is an important step towards ensuring the future resilience of Scotland’s fishing industry to climate change. Thanks to the extensive technical and scientific experience of BMT in marine ecology, fisheries science, and the aquaculture industries, paired with the company’s global interest in the issue of food security, we can help to ensure that Scotland’s fisheries, and it’s fishing dependent coastal communities, are ‘future proof’ and ‘climate ready’.
Asimina Voskaki, Principal Consultant, and ‘Climate Risk and Resilience’ campaign lead at BMT, said: “Climate change has led to widespread adverse impacts on oceans and seas, including record-breaking temperatures, oxygen loss, and greater ocean acidity. By understanding how these changes are manifesting themselves in the Scottish marine environment, we can identify ways to mitigate the risks, take advantage of opportunities and sustainably manage commercial fisheries.”
“The research findings and recommendations resulting from this project will serve as a cornerstone for the development of forward-thinking policies. In our ‘customer friend’ role to ClimateXChange we are committed to ensuring that our research guides the Scottish Government’s decision-making processes and practices in sustainable fisheries,” added Voskaki.
“By aligning our efforts with the Scottish Government’s vision for robust and resilient ecosystems, we are confident that through this fisheries’ flagship programme we will collectively drive positive change and enable a more sustainable future,” concluded Vale.

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