SFF welcomes commissioning of research vessel – Fishupdate.com

SFF welcomes commissioning of research vessel Published:  21 April, 2008

Alba na Mara

THE Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says it is delighted at the commissioning of the new fisheries research vessel, Alba na Mara, which was officially named in Fraserburgh today at a ceremony presided over by First Minister Alex Salmond and his wife Moira.Mrs Salmond named the vessel.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive said: “We are delighted to see the Scottish Government’s commitment to sustainable fisheries represented by this significant investment in a replacement vessel.

“The SFF recognise the central role played by good fisheries science in underpinning a sustainable and profitable Scottish fishing industry.

“We enthusiastically support fisheries science and are closely co-operating on a number of joint projects through the Scottish Industry Science Partnership and other individual initiatives.”

Commenting, Mr Salmond said: “This is a magnificent vessel, the biggest and most sophisticated ship to be built by Macduff shipyards, and a significant addition to the Fisheries Research Services fleet.

“A striking example of Scotland’s industry and innovation, it was designed in Scotland and built in Scotland with the main purpose of researching and protecting Scotland’s seas.

“Our fishing and fish farming industries are pivotal to the Scottish Government’s overarching goal – increasing sustainable economic growth. It supports thousands of jobs across the country while the total value of landings made by Scottish vessels in 2006 amounted to 368.5 million pounds.

“We must do all we can to safeguard these industries and ensure science plays its central role in monitoring, researching and advising to build a more sustainable, profitable sector.

“Already tasked with 270 days at sea, the Alba na Mara will help us do both. It will monitor our fish and shellfish stock while researching our marine ecology to help sustainable management of our fisheries.

“I congratulate all involved in the creation of this vessel and wish them the very best success for their days at sea.”

Robin Cook, Chief Executive of FRS, said: “One of the most important functions of FRS is to provide the Scottish Government with expert advice to support the marine and fisheries policy, which can only be achieved through the provision of high quality scientific work conducted at sea.

“Alba na Mara will play a pivotal role in ensuring that marine research carried out by FRS remains of the highest calibre.”

Alba Na Mara, meaning the Scottish Seas, will protect the fish stock in Scottish waters and undertake research of the marine environment to support the sustainable management of Scotlands fisheries.

The sophisticated new vessel, built by Macduff Shipyards, will be based at Fraserburgh and joins her bigger offshore sister Scotia in key research work.

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