Rumbles rejects fuel task force strategy –

Rumbles rejects fuel task force strategy Published:  14 May, 2008

Mike Rumbles

SCOTTISH Liberal Democrat Shadow Fisheries Secretary Mike Rumbles today dismissed the SNP’s Fisheries Fuel Task Force as “yet another government talking shop” and urged “real action” to help the Scottish fishing industry cope with rising fuel costs.

Earlier Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead described a “fresh start” for the fishing industry as he addressed the North Sea Women’s Network and promised that his government would not let the rising fuel prices undermine confidence in the sector.

But commenting, Mr Rumbles said:

“I’m pleased that the Government has finally acknowledged that the fishing industry needs protection from escalating fuel prices, but it is not enough to set up another protracted talking shop while our fishermen are being forced to tie up their boats right now. Marine fuel is now so expensive that to go to sea means creating debt not profit.

“While other governments in Europe have already taken steps to limit the fuel prices faced by fishermen, the SNP’s Fisheries Fuel Task Force is only scheduled to report in August, and then again in 2009. How can our fishing industry be competitive in the European market when it is disadvantaged by a lack of effective government support?

“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 fishing industry deserves real action and support on a par with the rest of Europe rather than another SNP talking shop.” 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.