"Ridiculous" Confusion Over Prawn Fishery – Fishupdate.com

“Ridiculous” Confusion Over Prawn Fishery Fishing Monthly Published:  01 November, 2002

CONFUSION over the status of the West of Scotland prawn fishery emerged today.

Robert Stevenson, chief executive of the West of Scotland Fish Producers’ Organsation said there were doubts about the contents of the ACFM advice document made public last week.

For while its message was that West of Scotland prawns appeared to be in the clear as far as closure was concerned, he had information that this was wrong and the opposite would apply.

“This is based on the fact that the Commission has not removed its 10% quota cut penalty, therefore sticking to its belief that there is a link between the prawn fishery and cod.

“So it now appears the West of Scotland fishery is being faced with the same closure as the white fish sector, which is ridiculous

“But there is no such thing as a sizeable cod bycatch in our prawn fishery which I am underlining to Scottish fisheries minister Ross Finnie.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Hamish Morrison queried why politicians were involved at all in the fisheries management issue.

“There is no issue of political philosophy here. It is an entirely technical, scientific and operational calculation and it is possible to make a credible argument that a high percentage of the problems we are facing derive from the involvement of politicians.

“Politicians have chosen to run the show and exclude fishermen from policy development and it is now a bit rich of them to blame fishermen for the collapse of fish stocks.”