Fishers Could Be Penalised For Saving Lives –

Fishers Could Be Penalised For Saving Lives Fishing Monthly Published:  03 February, 2003

FISHERMEN who put to sea to save the lives of colleagues who find themselves in trouble, may be penalised under new ‘days at sea’ regulations, according to Scottish National Party shadow fisheries minister Richard Lochhead.

Mr Lochhead said that guidelines issued to skippers stipulate that: “The Fisheries Departments may also, exceptionally, exercise discretion to exempt time spent in the Cod Recovery Zones, for example where a vessel is unable to fish because of extraordinary circumstances (say a substantive breakdown, or having had to respond to a distress call.)”

Mr Lochhead commented: “These regulations are a shambles and many fishermen are struggling to make sense of the guidelines.It is shocking that the days at sea scheme jeopardises safety at sea and Government Ministers should never have allowed these measures to have seen the light of day.

“By stating that steaming time undertaken to answer distress calls ‘may’ be discarded when counting a vessel’s days at sea is despicable when a guarantee should be provided.”