Scottish Government hits at Westminster "scaremongering" – Fishupdate.com

Scottish Government hits at Westminster “scaremongering” Published:  20 May, 2008

CLAIMS by the UK Government that the Scottish Government is creating uncertainty among fishermen are “tantamount to scaremongering,” the Scottish Government said this afternoon.

As reported today on FISHupdate.com there has been an avalanche of criticism from England over the Scottish Government’ moratorium on the transfer of licences and fixed quota allocations from Scottish fishing vessels while, according to UKAFPO chairman Jim Portus, they consult about the introduction of a Scottish quota management and licensing system.

UK Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw said he was disappointed that the Scottish administration has decided to take this unilateral action, which “tears up” long-standing arrangements for managing fishing licences and quotas.

He also questioned whether this would stand up to legal scrutiny

and he claimed the move creates additional risk and uncertainty for fishermen already under pressure.

But a Scottish Government spokesperson said:

“The proposals we are publishing will safeguard Scotland’s traditional fishing rights for future generations. They will also provide additional benefits for fishermen and fishing businesses. That is why our consultation is being welcomed warmly by many fishermen and others involved in this vital sector.

“Claims by the UK Government that we are creating uncertainty among fishermen are tantamount to scaremongering.

“We do not want to go down the road of Individual Transferable Quotas that was mooted in the Downing Street report ‘Net Benefits’ which effectively amounts to the privatisation of fishing rights. The measures we are outlining will safeguard one of our national assets – our fish quota – for the long term benefit of our fishing communities.

“Our proposals will be consulted upon and we look forward to having a meaningful dialogue with those who care about the future of the fishing industry.”

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