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The Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust is a Scottish charity promoting the sustainable management of Scotland’s inshore waters so that they provide the maximum long term socio-economic and environmental benefits to all Scotland’s coastal communities.

Scotland’s inshore waters, which lie within 12 nautical miles of its 11,800km coastline, have long been important as a source of food and of wealth-creating opportunities.

These waters have been poorly managed in recent decades. Over-fishing and the use of fishing gears which damage the sea bed have been permitted and promoted.

This has  harmed our coastal economies and ecosystems.

SIFT is working to change this.

SIFT believes that the best ways to modernise fisheries management and restore the diversity and abundance of Scotland’s inshore waters are to:

  • Create marine zones that restrict damaging fishing practices and allow fish stocks to recover, boosting maximum sustainable yields;
  • Empower coastal communities to manage their local waters;
  • Establish new governance arrangements to ensure that fish stocks are managed for the benefit of all stakeholders;
  • Introduce specific management measures for particularly poorly managed fisheries;
  • Base fisheries management upon scientific and economic evidence.


SIFT is a small, highly focused charity governed by a strong board and run by staff with a wealth of relevant expertise and experience. SIFT also works closely with a range of consultants who provide advice on Scottish government policy, marine legislation, economics and fisheries science.

SIFT Board

Jeremy is an investment manager and trustee of the Whitley Animal Protection Trust, a UK charity which supports organisations concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the promotion of the welfare of animals.
Howard was a founder of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST). In 2015 he was awarded an OBE for services to the marine environment and the Goldman Environmental Award for Europe for his work in establishing a Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Michael was an Independent Councillor in Argyll & Bute and previously was the Principal of Argyll College, an academic partner of The University of the Highlands and Islands. He has a strong interest in local economic development.
Rupert is Hon Professor of Marine Science at Heriot-Watt University. He was previously Director of the University Marine Biological Station at Millport in the Firth of Clyde, and Chief Scientist of the Save Our Seas Foundation. He has completed projects funded by governments, NGOs and other organisations in over 40 countries.
Guy is a solicitor specialising in environmental law, conservation, water, fisheries and freedom of information. He is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association and the Environmental Law Foundation. He was formerly Director of Conservation at the Marine Conservation Society and a presenter on BBC TV’s Country Tracks programme.
Abi is Director of Conservation Science and Design at Fauna & Flora International, a UK charity which operates in over 40 countries. She is also a member of the DEFRA Darwin Expert Committee, and a frequent contributor to a range of scientific and conservation journals. She has a PhD in zoology from the University of Aberdeen.

SIFT Staff

Charles has been Executive Director of SIFT since he co-founded it in 2011. He is Deputy Chairman of Trees for Life, the Scottish charity taking a lead in re-establishing native woodlands in the Scottish Highlands. He was previously Chairman of The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, which lead the campaign to reintroduce a national Deposit Return Scheme for single use drinks containers. He formerly worked in the environmental technology investment sector.
Alex is a marine biologist and fishery management professional. She was the Project Coordinator of SIFT’s Regulating Order project in the Firth of Clyde. She was previously the Senior Fisheries Officer at the Solway Shellfish Management Association and from 2009-2012 was the Local Fisheries Coordinator at the Clyde Inshore Fisheries Group.
In addition to its Board of Directors and staff, SIFT works with project advisors for each of its larger projects. The groups include representatives of other stakeholder interests as well as leading experts on marine science and fisheries and public law. SIFT also works with a wide range of consultants with expertise in fisheries, scientific, legal, political and other disciplines.