Caution urged by fisher leader –

Caution urged by fisher leader Published:  16 January, 2004

MORE effort has to be put into establishing if the new EC catching rules are vulnerable to legal challenge, according to a fishermens’ leader.

George MacRae, the secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, said it had been assumed that the only course of action for fishermen was to risk censure by defying the rules and fishing illegally. Skippers have threatened illegal action from the 1st of February.

He said: “The question of legal action is more important and the big emphasis has to be finding that the regulation governing cod catching is illegal.”

Mr MacRae said the industry was taking counsel’s opinion on the issue which would be discussed at a special meeting of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation on Monday, the 19th of January.

Mr MacRae said: “We are firmly of the view that the stringency of regulation is totally disproportionate to the benefit to be achieved and we are confident that counsel will support that view.”