Association Hits At Bleak Picture Over Aid Fishing Monthly Published: 25 March, 2003
THE Fishermens Association said today the hold up over payment of transitional aid to the Scottish industry presents a bleak picture.
In a letter to the Scottish fisheries department, association secretary Roddy McColl says that not only does it appear that skippers will not be able to claim aid for February when the Days at Sea Scheme became effective but there seems to be a distinct possibility that aid will not be paid at all.
One association member had told him that during February and March he will have been tied up 22 days with a potential loss of earnings for his eight man crew vessel of £45 – £50,000. From 1 February to yesterday he had fished five days outside the cod zone and had intended to use the days left for the remainder of March to catch saithe outside the zone. However assuming transitional aid is approved by the EC he has estimated, based on the £142 per VCU, that he will lose £11,000 in compensation — £5,000 for the first five days outside the zone and 6 days for the remainder So with half the quota, half the fishing time and a planned investment in new wires, trawl doors and net of £20k, the aid scheme is designed to force him to consider decommissioning which should be seen for what it is – nothing more than a Trojan Horse for the hard-pressed sector.