Industry Leader Hits At "Absurd" Consultation Process –

Industry Leader Hits At “Absurd” Consultation Process Fishing Monthly Published:  03 February, 2003

THE timescale allowed for comment on Scottish decommissioning proposals is “absurd.” Scottish Fishermen’s Federation President Alex Smith said today

He said the consultation document only reached him on Friday yet the consultation period ends tomorrow.

Meanwhile Mr Smith said they were actively pressing officials and fisheries minister Ross Finnie for a readjustment of the Scottish aid package, for although a £50milllion package is a lot of money, £40m for decommissioning will destroy the Scottish white fish fleet.

“But in the part left for decommissioning there has to be reversion to the decomissioning schemes of the past when licence, vessel and quota were surrendered. That is the only way this scheme can possibly be of benefit to those who are left. If there is no claw back of quota it will make no difference whatsoever to those who are left.”

Mr Smith added that the federation is tomorrow meeting EC officials in Brussels to discuss the interim cod recovery arrangements.

Issues to be raised included the case for decoupling haddock and whiting where there is proof that these fisheries can be prosecuted with minimal cod by catches-in some cases even less than 1%.

“It is therefore wrong to have cut back the haddock and whiting quotas as much as they have been and this has to be put right.”

“We will also raise the issue of interim measures, underlining the implications for the Scottish fleet and also underlining they will not deliver cod recovery.”