Increase number of days at sea, urge Conservatives – Fishupdate.com
Increase number of days at sea, urge Conservatives Published: 07 April, 2009
Scottish Conservatives have accused the Scottish government of pursuing a fishing policy that not only damages the future of the whitefish industry, but also puts lives at risk. As a result, they are calling for the number of days at sea to be increased.
John Scott MSP, shadow cabinet secretary for rural affairs & the environment, said: ‘Last year the Scottish fishing industry had a 10 million kilowatt hour allocation. This years cut to 9 million kilowatt hours – a 10 per cent cut in hours – has been turned by the Scottish government into a 25 per cent cut in effort which is unacceptable, unnecessary and must be re-negotiated immediately.
‘The future viability of the whitefish industry is being put at risk by the Scottish Government negotiating one position with Brussels and turning this into a different position for our fishermen.’
Jimmy Buchan, skipper of the Amity II and Scottish Conservative candidate for Banff & Buchan, said: ‘From February 1 to April 30, a period of 89 days, my boat has been allocated 42 days at sea when my crew and I can actually go and fish.
‘This is the equivalent of a three and a half day week and means that when we are at sea we cannot afford to return to port empty handed. This extra pressure means that when we are at sea we are required to fish in more dangerous conditions than we have in the past.
Scottish government policy is threatening not just the future of the our industry but putting our lives at risk as well, which is why Scottish Conservatives are calling for the number of days at sea to be increased.’