Answers Needed Now On White Fish Fleet's Future –

Answers Needed Now On White Fish Fleet’s Future Fishing Monthly Published:  31 January, 2003

SCOTTISH Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Hamish Morrison argued today that MSPs should consider withholding support for Scotland’s decommissoning legislation until questions are answered.

Mr Morrison has also told Scottish Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie that too much cash has been earmarked for decommissioning

In a letter to the minister,Mr Morrison says the scheme aimed to reduce effort on cod by a further 15 – 20%.The obvious way of achieving that would be permanent withdrawal of 15-20% of capacity in the dedicated white fish fleet.

“This would amount to less than 40 vessels, whilst the £40M set aside for decommissioning, on comparable guidelines to the 2002 decommissioning scheme, would remove more than 150 vessels.This is a very large discrepancy.”

But could this be explained by provision in the scheme to fund transfer of quota released by decommissioning?

And in a letter to MSPs Mr Morrison says they may consider withholding support for the legislation setting up the Decommissioning Scheme until the Executive says what it believes to be the sustainable long-term capacity of the dedicated white fish fleet

“ Before the Parliament gives the Executive authority to promote the destruction of a very large part of Scotland’s Trawl Fleet, there must be some strategic objective in mind.It is surely encumbent on the Executive to say what it expects the long-term management of the White Fish Fishery to be and how that long-term plan is to be implemented.”