A controlled trial of electrofishing for razor clams has been authorised by the Scottish Government.
The trial will investigate the size and potential for commercial razor clam production and ensure fisheries could be operated sustainably with appropriate harvest rates.
This follows the conclusion of a consultation between industry, environmental organisations and local communities.
Marine Scotland will now consult further with partner public bodies, including Scottish Natural Heritage, and with the Scottish Fishermen’s Associations to ascertain the best locations for trials to take place.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland has a rich and diverse natural environment with a coastline that is world renowned – not only for its unique habitats but also for high quality seafood.
“Responses to our consultation and previous research suggests that, where properly applied, electrofishing can be a sustainable and safe method of harvesting razor clams in a way that is less intrusive than traditional methods like dredging.
“We will now undertake scientific trials in specified areas to ensure we fully understand the potential of the industry, and how we best to access the economic possibilities in this area.”