Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

SNP politicians register anger in vote on fishing-ban plan – here’s what they said

The warning shots rang out one day after Highlands MSP Fergus Ewing ripped up a copy of his government's proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas.

Highland MSP Kate Forbes was one of the rebels in the vote against the government. Image: PA.
Highland MSP Kate Forbes was one of the rebels in the vote against the government. Image: PA.

SNP politicians publicly vented fury at controversial proposals for fishing bans in Scottish waters.

Plans for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) were repeatedly criticised at the Scottish Parliament over two days.

Veteran SNP backbencher Fergus Ewing ripped up the government’s consultation document in front of MSPs on Wednesday night in a theatrical display of anger.

And the debate returned to Holyrood in a vote forced by the Tories on Wednesday, the first opportunity for MSPs to register support or opposition in the chamber.

Highland MSPs Kate Forbes and Fergus Ewing, along with Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan, marked their dissent by voting against the SNP’s position.

Three more MSPs – including former leadership hopeful Ash Regan – chose to abstain rather than back the government.

It is the first party rebellion in parliament since Humza Yousaf became first minister in March.

Here’s how the SNP voices spoke out.

Alasdair Allan: Western Isles

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said he has “never had to confront anything quite like the issue of HPMAs before” in terms of the backlash.

He added: “A policy, to which to the best of my recollection every single person of the many in my island constituency who have offered me their view, is strongly opposed.”

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan. Image: PA.

Showing a primary school class from his constituency around the Scottish Parliament recently, he said the “first thing” they brought up was the unpopular policy.

Mr Allan continued: “The prospect of a virtually total ban on all fishing activity in any one of any one of our most fragile communities would in fact disproportionately affect some of our of the very forms of fishing which have the smallest environmental impacts.”

He did not vote with the rest of his party, adding that he did so “reluctantly” due to the “strength of opposition” amongst his constituents.

Karen Adam: Banffshire and Buchan Coast

Karen Adam represents a constituency which takes in Peterhead, the largest fishing port in Europe.

As MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, she has had “sincere and deep ponderings” over the proposals.

She wants more engagement to be carried out with fishers.

Ms Adam told MSPs on Wednesday she hopes her concerns are known to the fishers across the coastal  constituency she is “honoured” to represent.

Karen Adam, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast. Image: Supplied.

She said: “It’s for this reason I make this promise to them: I promise I will never support a policy that will be to the detriment of the lives and the livelihoods of coastal communities across Scotland.”

Despite her critical comments, she voted with her party instead of siding with Conservatives, leading to criticism from Banff and Buchan Tory MP David Duguid.

He claimed she had chosen “loyalty to the SNP and Green ideology”.

In response, Ms Adam said: “Despite Tory disinformation, I did not vote in favour of HPMAs on Wednesday.

“The motion I voted for specifically recognised the considerable strength of feeling on HPMAs and committed the Scottish Government to working with coastal communities and the fishing sector to ensure their views are listened to and understood.

“It also noted the Scottish Government’s commitment to not impose HMPAs on communities that are vehemently opposed to them.”

Fergus Ewing: Inverness and Nairn

Fergus Ewing has become a thorn in the side of the Scottish Government in recent months, vocally criticising a number of policies put forward by his party colleagues in the administration.

In Holyrood on Tuesday, he ripped up his own government’s fishing ban proposals to show his opposition.

He called for the consultation to be withdrawn and the minister responsible to apologise.

The former rural affairs spokesman claimed the issue will “haunt the Scottish Government”.

He added: “This is not a consultation document, it’s a notice of execution.”

The SNP rebel voted against the government’s amendment on Wednesday.

Kate Forbes: Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch

Former SNP leadership contender Kate Forbes vowed to scrap HPMAs completely during the party leadership contest, which she lost to Mr Yousaf.

Speaking to MSPs on Wednesday night, she said: “My job now is to represent my constituents and to navigate a way forward.”

She credited Scottish Government Mairi McAllan – who is overseeing the policy – for her engagement with rural communities.

She said Mr Yousaf’s claim that HPMAs would not be “imposed” in communities where they were not wanted may result in such areas being hard to establish, because she has not heard from anyone who is in favour.

In parliament, she quoted from a protest song about HPMAs from the band Skipinnish, which likened the proposals to the Highland clearances.

What did the government say?

Ms McAllan, the Net Zero and Just Transition Secretary, committed to meeting coastal and island communities this summer.

She said it is an “unavoidable truth” that Scotland is facing a climate and marine emergency.

Net Zero and Just Transition Secretary Mairi McAllan. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

“We have approached this really complex and emotive topic with as much democracy as we possibly can,” she said.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon, who also joined the debate, said the government “appreciate the gravity of the concerns that have been raised”.

She added the government would “not steamroll or impose on any community a policy they are vehemently opposed to.”

The government has yet to identify proposed sites for the highly regulated fishing zones.