Industry Must Get Survival Message Across –

Industry Must Get Survival Message Across Fishing Monthly Published:  30 July, 2002

George MacRae…more public and political support is crucial

POLITICIANS from around the UK must stand up and fight for the fishing industry’s future,an industry spokesman said today.

And George MacRae, secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association said that politicians must be made aware that they could pay a penalty at the polls if they fail to deliver.

“What I am trying to do is to drum up public and political support for a fair deal from the Common Fisheries Policy reforms and to get across the message that this industry must be preserved.

“We also have to underline that this sector is not populated by people who perpetually over fish or who are half crazed on drugs.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, but our industry has to stop running itself down.”

But to win real public and political support the industry must be seen nationally as one of importance in the big urban population areas as well as on the coast and if there were serious misconceptions about over fishing for example, it meant the industry was failing to get its message across.

Now the industry had to start to galvanise public support but to do that its objectives had to be explained to people, many of whom had paid little heed to the sector.

“The end result can be achieved but only if we begin now to build up public and political support locally and nationally so that our politicians know the consequences if they fail to deliver.”