Fishers face an uphill struggle –

Fishers face an uphill struggle Published:  31 August, 2006

SCOTTISH Shadow Fisheries Minister and Moray MSP Richard Lochhead yesterday met Scottish Fisheries Minister, Ross Finnie, to discuss recent developments in Europe which indicate that the Scottish fishing fleet may undergo further crippling quota cuts.

Mr Lochhead requested the meeting with Mr Finnie after recent talks

between the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the European Commission revealed that further cuts to the white fish quota for the Scottish Fishing Fleet could take place next year.

Mr Lochhead has since met with the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the Fishermen’s Association.

Commenting Mr Lochhead said:

” It appears that fishermen in Scotland once again face an uphill battle to secure a good deal at this year’s fisheries negotiations in Brussels.

“However, I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet Ross Finnie to

discuss the many concerns that have been expressed to me by anxious

constituents and the wider fishing industry following the latest signs that the European Commission is planning yet more pain for Scotland.

“At least the Commission has flagged up its thinking much earlier this year to provide the industry with warning of the fight ahead.

“I raised a number of issues facing our fishing communities including the need to avoid any further cuts in quota or days at sea, to help the fleet cope with rising fuel costs and to ensure Scotland is protected from any further damage at the hands of the discredited CFP.

“I was pleased that the Minister recognised that the European Commission can’t get away with on the one hand accepting the case for a review of the failed Cod Recovery Plan that has caused untold problems for the Scots fleet but on the other hand demanding the imposition of even tougher restrictions. I urged Ross Finnie to reject the Commission’s hypocrisy.

“Our fishermen can’t cope with any further cuts in quota at a time when our haddock and prawn stocks in particular are healthy. It would be plain daft to stop our fishermen catching healthy stocks due to a further cut in days at sea or quota.

Ross Finnie recognises the threat to our fishing communities once again emanating from the European Commission as the end of year quota talks get closer. However, the difficulty is that Ministers have tried to stop Europe imposing ludicrous and unjustifiable restrictions in the past and failed due to the nature of the Common Fisheries Policy that allows other countries to veto what is best for Scotland. That’s why we need control of our waters returned to the Scottish Parliament.” 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.