Aid Details Must Be Announced Quickly –

Aid Details Must Be Announced Quickly Fishing Monthly Published:  12 March, 2003 THE Scottish Executive must announce details of its transitional aid scheme for the fishing industry this week so skippers can decide what they are going to do with their fishing opportunities, Alex Smith President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation underlined today. He said the industry was in limbo over the the £10million aid scheme which had to be administered in a reasonable way.Meanwhile, Mr Smith said that realistically, it did not look as if a long term cod recovery plan could become a reality until January which underlined the need for some sort of aid for the catching sector to be in place until the cod plan was introduced.“Originally, the Commission said a cod recovery measure would come by July but we always feared it was going to slip back. But the bottom line is that the interim aid package must have flexibility to allow aid to continue until something long term is put in place.”And while days restrictions were a big enough restriction, the reality was that cut quotas were the main problem. “We continue to battle away at the Commission on the haddock and whiting situation underlining that if there were stand alone assessments for these fish, not linked to cod, there could have been much higher TACs. We keep saying data is there to show that there are areas where vessels can catch haddock and whiting with a minimum bycatch of cod.”