Industry and Scottish Government discuss fisheries strategy – Fishupdate.com

Industry and Scottish Government discuss fisheries strategy Published:  06 June, 2006

A MEETING between the Scottish fishing industry and the Scottish Executive has agreed on the next steps for the development of a strategy that could form the basis for a profitable and sustainable future for the industry.

The meeting heard that a number of challenges need to be overcome, including finding ways of maximising the value of the catch. This is seen as particularly important against the background of high fuel prices and recent quota reductions, especially for the all-important haddock stock.

Yesterday’s meeting in Edinburgh was the direct result of one of the key recommendations from the Scottish Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie’s ‘Strategy for Scottish Sea Fisheries’, which was published in June 2005.

Acting on this report, three cross-sector working groups were set up to provide recommendations on the measures needed to ensure that fisheries were well-managed, profitable and sustainable. Two further sub-committees on Scottish Langoustines and Haddock were also set up, given their importance to the Scottish industry.

Yesterday’s plenary meeting, which was also attended by environmental NGOs, heard the recommendations of these groups. These will now be considered over the summer, with a joint industry/government action plan being finalised in September.

A key player in the development of the strategy has been the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, and according to chief executive Bertie Armstrong, the ongoing process is a clear sign of the industry and the Scottish Executive working closely together.

“This cross-sector co-operation is to be welcomed and can only benefit the industry as it means we are at the heart of developing a realistic strategy and that will help ensure a profitable and sustainable future,” he said.

It is envisaged that the final agreed action plan will address all the challenges facing the industry and include special attention to marketing the key Scottish stocks of Haddock and for other hallmarked Scottish seafood products such as Langoustines.

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