MCARTHUR PRESSES MOORE ON ISLES FISHING CONCERNS Published: 10 November, 2010
Liberal Democrat Fisheries spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP has raised the concerns of fishermen with Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP.
Mr McArthur was joined for a meeting at the Scotland Office by Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation and Ian Gatt from the Scottish Pelagic Fishermens Association.
Issues discussed included the continuing negotiations between the EU, Iceland and the Faroe Islands over mackerel quotas and the Governments position ahead of the annual end of year fishing negotiations in Brussels.
Commenting, Mr McArthur MSP said: This was a useful and timely meeting and it is clear that the Scottish industry values the relationship it now has with the Scotland Office.
Mr Moores willingness to engage on these issues is in sharp contrast to the disinterest shown by successive Scottish Secretaries under the previous UK Labour administration.
Finding a resolution to the ongoing dispute with Iceland and the Faroes over mackerel was high on the agenda. So too was the need to undo the damage caused to the Scottish King Scallop fleet by the recent decision to exclude Scottish vessels from Isle of Man waters.
Finally, we were able to raise concerns about the prospects for the EU Fisheries Council negotiations next month.
The mood within the Scottish fleet is one of despondency with the threat of further cuts to quota and effort viewed with increasing dismay.
Bertie Armstrong and Ian Gatt agreed to keep the Secretary of State updated on the industrys priorities in the run up to these important negotiations.
I hope this will help ensure that the best deal possible is secured in December.
Speaking after the meeting, Bertie Armstrong said: This was a useful meeting and the Secretary of State listened carefully to the many issues of concern raised.
We were particularly encouraged that the Minister recognised the difficulties faced by much of the Scottish scallop fleet following their exclusion from Manx waters and that he would give assistance on the issue.”