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Thursday, 24 May 2018

A survey of Scottish fishermen ahead of Brexit: political, social and constitutional attitudes




A survey of Scottish fishermen ahead of Brexit: political, social and constitutional attitudes.

There is a substantial amount of literature that focuses on the governance of offshore fisheries in Europe and abroad, the history of fishing industries in different countries, and anthropological studies of fishing communities around the world. There is also alarge amount of literature that explores the attitudes of fishermen towards fisheries governance and management. However, there is very little research that has explored the political attitudes of fishermen through the use of quantitative survey data. 

Using a survey carried out just ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, this paper analyses data from a sample ofScottish skippers who work on vessels over 10 m in length. The paper focuses on how fishermen in Scotland vote at both UK andScottish elections, how they voted in the Scottish independence and EU referendums, their political and social attitudes and their demographic breakdown. 

On the EU referendum, the paper finds that fishermen, as well intending to overwhelmingly voting to leave the EU, did so for instrumental reasons in the belief that this course of action would benefit them and their industry.


Craig McAngus: 2 February 2018