Scottish Conservatives fisheries spokesman takes on board fishing concerns –

Scottish Conservatives fisheries spokesman takes on board fishing concerns Published:  29 February, 2012

Jamie McGrigor

JAMIE McGrigor, Scottish Conservative Fisheries Spokesman, has expressed his concern over the restrictions facing Scotland’s fishing industry.

The news follows the MSP’s visit to Peterhead Fish Market, where he was accompanied by David Milne, Chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, and his subsequent meeting in Fraserburgh with Ian Gatt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association Limited.

“At Peterhead I was pleased to be able to speak to processors, fishermen and the harbourmaster and listen to their concerns for the industry and its future sustainability in a sector which sustains around 7 jobs on land for every job at sea,” said McGrigor.

“Particular concerns obviously focused on fishermen not being able to catch enough fish and the restrictions on having to repack around 10% of the boxes of fish caught and reweigh them, which causes extra delay and damage to the product for no apparent benefit;  this needs to be looked into.

“The industry is doing its best to keep everything going amid effort control measures but these measures are making it ever more difficult in a sector which has contracted greatly in recent years and now needs the room and flexibility to expand.”

Referring to his meeting with Ian Gatt, he said: “I spoke primarily with Mr Gatt about the mackerel wars, which is still a major issue for their fleet and which needs to be resolved. I also discussed the issue of agreements with third countries such as Morocco where Scottish fishermen have benefited but are now having quota restricted which again is making that business next to impossible. I will do my best to raise these issues.

“I am delighted Ruth Davidson gave me the honour of once again being Fisheries Spokesman, having served in that role in the first Parliament, and I am determined to speak up for the Scottish fishing industry which remains a very important part of the economy, particularly in the Northeast and the Highlands & Islands of Scotland.”