UK fishermen’s federations unite to tackle fuel costs – Fishupdate.com

UK fishermen’s federations unite to tackle fuel costs Published:  28 May, 2008

Bertie Armstrong

THE two main UK fishermen’s federations have joined forces to press for immediate government action to alleviate the sky-high high price of fuel, which is threatening the future of the UK fishing industry.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) are united in their demand for urgent government action to ensure the viability of the fishing fleet.

Unable to pass fuel costs on due to the way that fish is sold through the traditional auction system, the UK industry is calling for immediate assistance of the sort already given to the French and Spanish fleets and for a longer term look at efficiency and the structure of the industry.

A joint statement from SFF and NFFO chief executives Bertie Armstrong and Barrie Deas, says: “The price of fuel at the quayside has doubled over the past year, with 40% of the rise happening in 2008 so far.

“For significant sectors of the fleet this is a real threat to viability.

“We have had meetings at devolved government level, now is the time for consolidated action across the UK.

“We call for urgent discussions with the UK fisheries minister on a de minimis payment on the French and Spanish model and to agree an approach to Europe with the other main fishing member states to look at the whole issue of support for the European industry.”

The depth of feeling in the catching sector was never more clearly demonstrated than at a meeting of fishing skippers at Inverness on Monday, where coordinated demonstrations across the UK to draw attention to the plight of the industry were called for.

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