Aid Must Come Quickly –

Aid Must Come Quickly Fishing Monthly Published:  08 January, 2003 SUFFICIENT aid to get fishermen through a potentially disastrous interim period of draconian restrictions must be landed quickly, it was underlined today. Commenting on Scottish Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie’s statement to the Scottish Parliament on the outcome of the Christmas EU fish deal, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation President Alex Smith said it appeared the Scottish Executive had agreed to “reasonable” aid although there were no details yet.Mr Finnie had indicated aid would be applied on a port by port basis with the 15 days at sea per month allowance linked to further decommissioning.“Our priority is short term aid to get vessels through this interim period as we cannot afford substantial reductions in what is already a reduced white fish fleet.”And if as many boats were kept at sea as possible, the shore sector’s potential financial problems would be reduced.Meanwhile, Mr Smith said he welcomed Mr Finnie’s commitment to get cod recovery plans thrashed out by the end of March to allow the fleet to get out of the interim measures phase by July . Quotas must be bought out with vessels,says Smith “If there is further scientific assessment before then we have to look at getting the haddock quota raised because the sea is full of haddock.”And further decommissioning must mean the fish that goes with a boat being bought out as well as the vessel.