Deepwater Earnings Losses Crisis Revealed –

Ross Finnie..too little determination, claims Lochhead

Deepwater Earnings Losses Crisis Revealed Fishing Monthly Published:  02 July, 2002

THE Scottish fishing industry warned tonight that a controversial deepwater fisheries deal will cost it £5.3million in lost earnings a year.

And Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Hamish Morrison said they wanted urgent talks with both the Scottish and Westminster Governments on how the earnings gap could be bridged.

Mr Morrison said that a meeting of deepwater skippers had been held today and he had quantified the loss based on the decision to set a TAC regime.

“That is a very large loss when you consider the relatively small number of vessels involved.”

And he said that while it might be argued by some that the loss might be only half that amount given an EC decision to set a ling quota of 5000 tonnes a year, his calculations were based on the real ling catch of 2819 tonnes in 2001, not the Commission’s paper fish quota increase.

“A total of 2819 tonnes was caught because that was what was available. The fact that the Commission put a figure of 5000 tonnes on the species does not mean that these extra fish are available in reality.”

The federation felt the whole issue should be revisited at EU level,particularly as the deepwater deal had opened the way for large-scale discarding.

Meanwhile Scottish shadow fisheries minister Richard Lochhead said tonight that Scottish fisheries minister Ross Finnie lacked the will to fight the deepwater deal.