Aid Deal Is "Scrapyard Charter" –

Aid Deal Is “Scrapyard Charter” Fishing Monthly Published:  30 January, 2003

A FISHERMEN’S grouping said today that UK fisheries minister Elliot Morley and his Scottish counterpart Ross Finnie must resign given an aid package that threatens to decimate Scotland’s whitefish fleet.

George MacRae, secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association said that the Scottish industry has only received the consequences of “failure and political incompetence.”

They had been promised assistance to see the industry through a difficult time.“What has been delivered is nothing but total and undiluted failure and we are repeating our call for both Mr Finnie and Mr Morley to resign.

“ We had felt that Ross Finnie had listened but was not able to deliver,as he was merely carrrying Mr Morley’s suitcase and was muzzled in Brussels.

“ But the biggest indictment of Ross Finnie is that he had the chance in the Scottish Parliament to deliver a package on which he received advice from the industry, but he and his civil servants came up with something which is going to break the back of the Scottish white fishing industry and ruin fishing communities.

“ £50million from the Scottish budget is welcome but the iron fist of Fischler is seen in the package split and its intended destruction of 55% plus of the vessels now actively engaged in white fishing-possibly about 120 out of a fleet of 180.

“This package is nothing but a charter for the scrap yard which would leave us only about 60 frontline white fish boats in Scotland.”