Fishers Cannot Take Any More –

Industry needs second opinion on stock advice, says Smith

Fishers Cannot Take Any More Fishing Monthly Published:  15 November, 2002

A FISHERMEN’S leader said today that there is no question in his mind that there has been “political influence” on the fish stocks health report issued by the Advisory Committee on Fisheries Management

And Alex Smith, president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, added: “We want another opinion on the AFCM advice as there are questions as to how they have given the advice they have.”

For example, industrial fishing had been left completely alone and no reference was made to the damage this does to the cod stock. And there was no acknowledgment there is a problem with the water temperature and the drift of fish North.

“Therefore I feel that to advocate wholesale closure of fisheries is nothing more than a panic measure.

“And what we need is another year to assess how this cod recovery plan is going in its present form.

“The messsage coming across from all sections is that this industry cannot give any more when you analyse what we have done. We have been in the forefront of technical measures for the last three years.

“But we have told Scottish fisheries minister Ross Finnie that we can only do so much and once he is in the negotiating chamber he has to make sure we can get to sea next year with realistic fishing opportunities.”

For the industry could not take an alternative to wholesale closures that would still render the fleet insolvent.