Fair Isle Marine Research Organisation (FIMRO)

 Cover image © Tommy H Hyndman

Fair Isle Marine Environment & Tourism Initiative (FIMETI) was a community initiative which was established by residents of Fair Isle in 1995 with the driving focus of securing local management of the marine waters around the isle. In November 2017 Fair Isle’s seas were designated as the first Demonstration & Research Marine Protected Area (DR MPA) in Scotland – this community developed site is now set up to research the ecological features and impacts on local seabird populations and the wider marine environment whilst also studying the socio-economic value of a healthy marine environment and partnership-led management.

In 2018, the Fair Isle Marine Research Organisation (FIMRO) was established by Fair Isle residents, formally replacing FIMETI.

Fair Isle’s maritime environment is very rich, both at the natural environment and human community level. The two aspects are inextricably linked and a threat to the first has serious implications for the second. The Fair Isle community has witnessed an erosion of that richness and was concerned that, without concerted action, the resource will be devalued or lost.

Fair Isle has a wide range of maritime attributes and issues which are important and deserve urgent measures for these assets to be safeguarded. The Fair Isle Marine Environment and Tourism Initiative (FIMETI) was set up in 1995 by the people of Fair Isle to help achieve this.

In 2012, the Fair Isle community presented a petition to the Scottish Parliament Petitions Committee asking for the Council of Europe Diploma condition that – Fair Isle waters should be designated a Marine Protected Area – be honoured and implemented. On 26th October 2016, Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, announced the designation of the Fair Isle Demonstration & Research Marine Protected Area – Scotland’s first ever designation of this kind.

In 2018, the Fair Isle Marine Research Organisation (FIMRO) was established by Fair Isle residents.

Provide adequate protection for the marine environment surrounding Fair Isle in recognition of its cultural as well as its environmental values and traditions for the benefit of the Isle, its inhabitants, its visitors and the nation.

Demonstrate the continued role and value of safeguarding the marine resource through sustainable management as traditionally practised by Fair Isle folk.

To maintain and enhance the marine environment and related traditional activities currently and for future generations.

Provide facilities and interpretation which will benefit and serve tourists; widen the range of tourism atractions offered by the Isle; make Fair Isle a model and a focal point for environmentally positive tourism.