Markets Could Be Seeing A False Dawn –

Markets Could Be Seeing A False Dawn Fishing Monthly Published:  07 January, 2003

GOOD landings at Peterhead and Aberdeen so far this year are believed to be partly due to a rules relaxation allowing catches taken before the end of last year to be credited to last year’s quotas.

Both Peterhead and Aberdeen have been seeing healthy landings but they could begin to tail off soon as the effect of catches logged before December 31 by skippers who chose to head back to the fishing grounds over the Festive Season wears off.

Hamish Gordon secretary of the Scottish Association of Fish Producer Organisations paid tribute to Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson in winning a Commission about turn on the issue.

And he felt sure that part of the reason for the present landing levels was the contribution being made by last year’s allowances.

“At the end of 2001 we were told the Commission had ruled against this system but thanks to lobbying and the support of MEP Struan Stevenson there has been an about turn by the Commission as long as the proportion of a vessel’s haul taken before the end of a year is verifiable from official documentation,in other words the log book.”

And Mr Gordon agreed that markets could therefore be seeing a false dawn as the true level of landings against the background of quota cuts had yet to be established, given there were a fair number of boats at sea over the Festive Season.

Aberdeen today saw a landing of around 2300 boxes with a similar level at Peterhead.