New Decommissioning Scheme Under Fire –

New Decommissioning Scheme Under Fire Fishing Monthly Published:  28 January, 2003

SCOTLAND’S new decommissioning scheme announced today is designed to cut Scottish fishing effort on cod by a further 15% to 20% in conjunction with parallel initiatives for the rest of the UK.

But Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association secretary George MacRae said that while any money into the industry is welcome, the allocation of £40million for decommissioning is not good.

“While we recognise that there had to be a decommissioning scheme based on the European requirements issued in December, we would have liked the today’s package split to be much more evenly balanced than the weighting towards decommissioning.

“Decommissioning does not help the fleet in that it is not putting money into the fleet. What it is doing is taking vessels out and a significant part of decommissioning money will find its way into the banks to repay borrowings.

” This is not enabling us to keep the fleet together with as many crews as possible which is the policy of our association. What it is doing is cutting the fleet down which them means you have a smaller fleet which is very unlikely to be able to take advantage of the fishing opportunities that hopefully will be available in the short to medium term.

“As a result of Brussels decisions we have lost this year £100million in fishing opportunities and what is being offered to compensate that is £10million.”