Processors Fear Major Crisis –

Processors Fear Major Crisis European Fish Trader Published:  24 October, 2002

SCOTTISH Fish Merchants’ Federation chairman George Noble said tonight that processors in Scotland are “very fearful” for the future after learning of recommendations to suspend all white fish catches to safeguard cod stocks.

“One report declares that more than 20,000 Scottish jobs are in jeopardy. When you realise that there are 4 or 5 onshore jobs to every one at sea, it is little wonder that the sector is in shock.

“It is just recovering from the effects of the previous cod closure and the fishermen’s industrial action, and looking forward to a measure of stability. Processors began making plans for the future, expanding their premises and workforce. Just when we thought we were set to climb a ladder another throw of the dice and we’re sliding back down that snake again.

“Our politicians must fight on industry’s behalf.Scottish Fisheries Minister, Ross Finnie, has promised to work with the industry to help ensure its future.Processors expect him to honour that promise and have requested an early meeting.

“Arrangements have also been made for UK processors to meet with the all-party back bench fisheries committee early in November.”