Rumbles: Put fishermen on same footing as Europeans –

Rumbles: Put fishermen on same footing as Europeans Published:  13 May, 2008

Mike Rumbles

SCOTTISH Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary Mike Rumbles has insisted that Scottish fisherman be treated equally to other European fishermen and receive government help to cope with rocketing fuel prices.

Mr Rumbles said:

“Unless the Government acts quickly, rocketing fuel prices could devastate the Scottish fishing industry. If fishermen cannot afford to fill up their boats and are unable to fish, the fishing industry and local economies could be permanently damaged.

“The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation are quite rightly concerned that fishermen in France and Spain are reported to be receiving government help to limit the fuel cost increases they face. Scottish fishermen deserve equal treatment. If the aid packages in France and Spain comply with EU rules, then similar packages must be introduced in Scotland. But, if they break EU rules, then they must be challenged.

“It would not be acceptable for Scottish fishermen to be put at a competitive disadvantage to the French and Spanish fleets. If the SNP is reluctant to match the French and Spanish model, it must bring forward a viable alternative immediately.

“We’ve already seen the SNP refuse to support our pig farmers, while the French Government approved a compensation package. I hope that fishermen will not be the latest victim of the SNP’s apparent unwillingness to support our rural industries to compete on a level playing field in the European market.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.