Finnie to meet fishermen before Brussels talks –

Finnie to meet fishermen before Brussels talks Published:  11 December, 2006

Ross Finnie

FISHERIES Minister, Ross Finnie will meet with fishermen for the last time today before heading to Brussels for what he described as “difficult talks” to agree fishing opportunities for next year.

Today he was due to discuss with West Coast fishermen and environmentalists how he can secure sustainable fisheries and a fair deal for Scotland at the autumn negotiations next week.

Some quotas are already agreed – including a deal on mackerel and haddock. Mr Finnie will join other European Fisheries Ministers to set catch levels for remaining shared stocks and days at sea for some fishermen.

It is the last in a series of meetings he has had with fisheries stakeholders ahead of the December Council.

Mr Finnie said: “I am committed to building a sustainable, profitable and well-managed sea fishing industry in Scotland. The autumn fisheries talks are crucial to achieving that goal.

“Our industry has changed the way it is doing business. There has been a step change in compliance and this is paying dividends in the market place. It is now time for the Commission to change the way that it does business.

“As long as cod is in difficulty, we face difficult talks. However, I am extremely disappointed by the Commission’s initial proposals, particularly their recommendation of a 25 per cent cut in days at sea and their failure for key west coast stocks to propose the increases which are clearly justified by the science.

“I can assure our fishermen that I will strongly resist any proposals that are not based on sound science and do not reflect the realities of the fishing industry.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.