The oil and gas and fishing industries work side by side in the UK continental shelf (UKCS). For example, fishing vessels may be contracted during oil and gas industry operations to act as guard vessels for protecting oil and gas related infrastructure during periods of installation or construction. Similarly, fishing vessels are engaged for conducting trawl sweeps at various locations to verify the area is clear of any residual oil related material. This section details the collaboration between the industries and the many systems and processes which have been put in place to ensure the safe and optimal working practices of both users of the marine environment.

Fisheries Legacy Trust Company (FLTC)

In 2007, the Fisheries Legacy Trust Company (FLTC) was established to manage interactions between the offshore oil and gas and fishing industries and specifically to manage an endowment fund set up to offset negative legacy issues. By the end of 2009, the FLTC had already made significant progress in several key areas of activity, including the updated FishSAFE device (system for fishermen to install on their vessels to warn them of the location of oil and gas related infrastructure) and long-term access to the data relating to seabed hazards.

Comprehensive information on the structure, funding, governance and work of the FLTC is available on its website.

Fisheries Liaison Officers (FLOs)

Since the early 1980s, it has been a condition of oil and gas licensing awards that operators must appoint a Fisheries Liaison Officer (FLO) to liaise with relevant Government departments and fishing organisations on issues relating to their exploration and production activities.

Please use the links below to access related information:

Un-attributable compensation fund

In 1975, the Fishermen’s Compensation Fund was set up by UKOOA (now Oil & Gas UK) to address the issue of unattributable debris from oil and gas related activity on the UKCS. The purpose of the Fund is to provide a means of redress to UK skippers who have suffered loss or damage to fishing gear caused by UKCS oil-related debris where the operator responsible cannot be established. Where the damage can be attributed to a specific operator, claims are pursued directly with that operator but if unsuccessful, an application may then be made to the Fishermen’s Compensation Fund for consideration. The Fund is financed by Oil & Gas UK and managed by a Committee comprising representatives of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, with representatives from Oil & Gas UK and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency being present as observers. Since 1989, when records began, over 900 claims have been submitted to the Fund which has made settlements totalling nearly £3 million.