Fight on to end gear headache –

Fight on to end gear headache Published:  03 March, 2005

THE SCOTTISH Executive is pressing the European Commission for action to end a fishing gear problem, which fishermen says is devaluing fishing licences.

The problem centres on new restrictions governing fishing gear transfer within the cod protection zone.

According to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, this is generating a “huge” problem for West Coast of Scotland boats particularly and has devalued category “A” licences to the point where boats are in danger of not being sellable because they are locked into one particular species.

“We assume these are unintended consequences, but this is an issue which needs serious discussion,” a spokesperson added.

The restriction has been hitting nephrops catchers particularly badly, given that while traditionally, nephrops boats could chase prawns, move on to scallops, then go back to nephrops, they can no longer do this.

A Scottish Executive spokesman told “The deal agreed in December already gives Scottish fishermen greater flexibility by removing the need for special permits.We agree that there should be greater flexibility in the use of gears in the cod recovery zone provided this is consistent with measures to conserve threatened cod stocks.We are continuing to press this case with the Commission and in consultation with the industry.” 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 Fishermens’ Federation Diary, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.