Representing & Supporting Shetland’s Fishermen

Prominent US defender of fisheries to give lecture
April 28th 2022

A prominent US fisheries scientist with a reputation for debunking common myths about the industry will be giving a lecture in Shetland tomorrow (Fri).

Members of the pubic are invited to attend Professor Ray Hilborn’s talk “The Future of Food from the Sea” at the UHI Shetland Scalloway campus at 6.30pm. It is being sponsored by the Shetland Fishermen’s Association.

Professor Hilborn has stated: “For several decades now, the public narrative, particularly about marine fisheries, has been to vilify ocean fishing with half-truths, plain-old lies, and more than a bucketful of misguided emotion.

“In light of the ever-increasing population of the planet, it seems downright reckless to use political pressure via public misinformation to potentially reduce everyone’s food supply.”

The SFA has attempted to counter this damaging narrative with its own series of papers, Fishy Falsehoods, with Dr Ian Napier of UHI Shetland.

SFA policy officer Sheila Keith said: “Professor Hilborn has an understanding of fisheries science and how to overcome many of the issues that face the Shetland fleet today.

“It would be great to see as many faces there as possible, from those in the industry to the wider public.”

Professor Hilborn, of the School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington, is travelling to the isles as part of UHI Shetland’s strategic development in partnership with the seafood industry.

While here, he will meet local industry leaders to discuss the seafood industry and research scientists at UHI Shetland to explore potential opportunities for fisheries science in Shetland.

Dr Beth Mouat, UHI Shetland joint head of marine science and technology, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Prof Hilborn to Shetland and gratefully acknowledge the support of The Fishmongers’ Company for enabling the visit and Shetland Fishermen’s Association who are sponsoring the lecture. Ray is a world-renowned researcher and we are very much looking forward to discussing the local seafood sector and our plans for developing our own research capacity with him.”