Boats already struggling over fuel –

Boats already struggling over fuel Published:  09 August, 2005

SOME vessels are already struggling badly because of soaring fuel costs, an industry leader warned today.

Mike Park, the Chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association said some boats in the bigger category are facing fuel costs of around 50% of their earnings.

“There are a lot of things to be fought for in terms of help over fuel costs and while there have been some concessions, these concessions do not pull the industry out of its problems

“Much more needs to be done. There are some boats struggling now and this is a big issue for them.”

Meanwhile fishermen’s leaders were meeting the Scottish Executive today to discuss the soaring cost of fuel and other issues.

And the chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Bertie Armstrong, said EU fisheries commissioner Joe Borg had issued a record of his recent meeting with industry over fuel costs. Mr Armstrong said:

“The interesting thing is that in the medium to long term, there is a notion from him of funding for a restructuring of the industry over a slower and longer term to get the industry into the right conditions. This is something we wish to be proactive over as it is something we obviously want to be involved with.”

However the details of Mr Borg’s short-term strategy including assisted lay up for the industry to help with fuel costs, using FIFG funds, were still not available.

The nub of the issue was whether the UK would participate in any aid schemes to allow these to benefit the UK industry. Warning that the UK industry must not be left out in the cold, he said:

“We do not want to see the start of a process which hands over the resource to our competitors.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish European Fish Trader, Fishing Monthly, Fish Farming Today, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.