Aid Package Is Imminent –

Aid Package Is Imminent Fishing Monthly Published:  22 January, 2003

SCOTTISH Executive sources confirmed today that an aid package for the beleagured fishing industry is set to be announced “in days.”

The likelihood is that there will be a combination of transitional support and decommissioning money.

Fisheries minister Ross Finnie gave the clearest indication yet yesterday when visiting Aberdeen that an aid package was imminent.

George MacRae, secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association said today that the apparent timing of the Holyrood aid announcement encouraged him although its content was as yet unknown.

But the association was not very enthusiastic about decommissioning money although they would not stand in the way of skippers who wanted to cash in their boats.

“As for the issue of transitional aid for the fishing industry and fishing communities, we will just have to wait and see because when we met Mr Finnie he was very tight-lipped over the issue”

However Mr Finnie did admit, that the Christmas fish deal for Scotland was terrible and accepted there had to be changes in the way the UK Government deals with the promotion of Scottish fisheries interests.

Mr MacRae went on:”I suggested that the UK delegation was also guilty of political naivety.Mr Finnie did not accept this and I also told that him that UK scientists had been guilty of a breach of trust in relation to information given to ICES which was not made available by other countries, particularly in relation to discards.”