Worry Over Impact Of EC Quota Ruling Fishing Monthly Published: 05 June, 2003
HIGHLANDS and Islands plans to introduce fishing quota buy-back and leasing schemes have been hit by the Brussels ruling against Orkney and Shetland schemes.
Fishermen are questioning how this rests with the Common Fisheries Policy aim of strengthening regional and local management of fisheries, and there are warnings that Scottish prawn quotas could end in Spanish ownership.
A scheme was being planned for the Highlands and Western Isles by the two local authorities and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Duncan MacInnes, secretary of the Western Isles Fishermens Association said such a scheme was the only way he could see to protect Highland and Island prawn stocks.
I cant see how that can be done unless theres some way out when we make a detailed examination of the EC decision. Otherwise the prawn quota will end in Spanish hands, in the same way that herring and mackerel quota has gone to Dutch boats, he said.
He added: I notice that the EC is not asking that the quota which has been bought should be returned. If we could get the quota bought up for the Highlands and Islands, and leased at the going rate according to EC rules, that might work. But weve also got to look at what lies behind this. The CFP made provision for international quota trading and Spanish boats would be very keen to get the prawn quota. Spain is the main prawn market but all their boats lacked was quota to fish Scottish prawn stocks.