Federation praises “friendly” Peterhead summit Published: 05 October, 2007
Richard Lochhead…hosted session
THE Scottish Fishermens Federation today welcomed the historic get-together in Scotland of the UK’s fisheries ministers, which was described as a “friendly and frank exchange.”
Speaking after the session in Peterhead, Scotland’s fisheries mninister and meeting host Richard Lochhead said:
“I was very pleased to host this historic meeting.
“It was the first opportunity for the four administrations to have friendly and frank exchanges on the future of a number of issues facing our fisheries.
“A follow-up meeting is planned for later this month in Brussels, where Ministers will meet the Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg.”
Earlier, commenting on the meeting between the Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish ministers, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong said:
“This is the first such meeting and it is both timely and welcome. Timely because the series of negotiations over the autumn and winter that will determine fishing opportunity, both within the EU and with other fishing nations such as Norway and the Faeroes have not yet begun; welcome because the priorities that must be set for the UK negotiating position are best done with all the UK sectors in mind.
“The main issues for us in Scotland will have equal importance in other regions. To name but three examples: a viable outcome for days at sea is as vital for most of the UK industry as it is for the East and West coasts of Scotland; good sustainable catching opportunities for herring and mackerel is important to the Northern Irish pelagic industry as well as us; the management of cod recovery will likewise affect most of the UK industry in one way or another.”
Before the session, Mr Lochhead said that the other ministers were aware that the Scottish Government had put forward a “strong case” for leading fisheries negotiations, nonetheless, they hoped to have a constructive session at Peterhead.
Last night, Jonathan Shaw, the UK Fisheries Minister said:
“I am very pleased to have had this productive meeting with my ministerial colleagues. We spoke frankly about the issues that are important for the fishing industry. It was a chance for me to hear their perspective and see where our common interests lie.
“We have a collective vision to get the best results for the UK fishing industry. This is especially important as we work towards achieving a good deal for the UK at the European Fisheries Council in December.”
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