Satisfactory outcome for Scots fishermen at EU/Norway fish talks –

Satisfactory outcome for Scots fishermen at EU/Norway fish talks Published:  05 December, 2011

Most of the key objectives were achieved for the Scottish fishing industry following the conclusion on Friday, December 2, of the second round of EU/Norway talks to finalise catching opportunities for shared stocks.

In particular, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomes Norway’s agreement to continue in 2012 with the ‘Catch quota’ scheme, which provides 12% extra cod on top of the agreed quota for those fishermen that participate in the initiative.

For whitefish quotas, North Sea cod is down 1% and saithe reduced by 15%. However, haddock, whiting and plaice will all increase by 15% for 2012. For pelagic fish, the herring quota has been doubled to 405,000 tonnes in line with scientific advice.

Alan Coghill, president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “Overall this is a positive outcome for the Scottish fleet and we are particularly pleased that the continuation of the catch quota scheme will provide an element of much needed relief to some of our fishermen.

“However, our prawn and whitefish fleets are still facing the very real threat of big reductions in the number of days they can go to sea, which will be decided at the crucial EC Fish Council talks later this month. It is imperative that these scandalous proposals are ditched, given the severe hardship they would impose upon our fishermen.”

Commenting on the pelagic outcome, Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “The increase in the North Sea herring is to be welcomed, which is the result of careful and sustainable harvesting by our fishing fleet. We are disappointed, however, that there was a 30,000 tonnes transfer of blue whiting from the EU to Norway, as this is fish that Scottish processing factories could have benefited from, although the amount of fish transferred was less than the Norwegians were wanting.”