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The CFA was established in 1934 under the Chairmanship of Archiebald D MacNair, JP and Provost of Campbeltown.  Since this date the Association have had a long history of contributing to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the West Coast of Scotland and beyond.  At this time the association members were primarly involved in ring-net herring fishing around the Clyde area.  The herring fisheries remained the main fisheries for around 40 years, until the mid 1970's when the industry faced huge changes and a refocus on new priorities and fishing methods.  A move away from the herring fishing towards prawn trawling and an active scallop indusrty has been a key factor of change in recent decades. 


The alterations in fishing techniques and catch is by no means the only changes the CFA have witnessed in over 80 years.  More recently the industry has experienced an increase in fisheries management techniques, more policy development at Scottish, UK and EU levels, the introduction of fish farms to the ecology, the downturn in many costal communities, increases in waste dumping, variations on seal numbers and natural changes in sea water temperatures and alterations to the Gulf Stream which has moved further West.  These are just some limited examples which have led to many fishermen attending more business meetings than ever before with various bodies such as the Scottish Government, NGO’s, Academics and new fisheries sectors.  The face of the industry is rapidly changing and the CFA and its members have made every effort to respond to these developments and engage positively wherever possible.  It’s an increasingly busy and diverse job.


The future will continue to offer changes and challenges, particularly in relation to diversification of legislation in regards to landing obligations and discards, the development of Marine Protected Areas, changes to EU programmes and policy, the ongoing engagement with NGO’s and the outcomes of the Smith Commission for example.  It's the CFA's role to continue to positively and actively represent the issues which fishermen face, always working hard to achieve fair sustainable outcomes for this valuable asset to Scotland and the industries and communities it supports. 


As an example current projects which the CFA are involved with include environmental improvement through fishing for litter schemes, helping to clean the waters around the West Coast.  They are also involved in training and employability schemes, assisting  people to train and gain longterm employment in the industry.  The CFA will continue to diseminate theses positive messages, inform their members of vital issues and to respond to their members bespoke needs. 

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