BREXIT could bring 5,000 jobs to the Scottish fishing industry and generate £540 million, according to a report by government agency Marine Scotland published yesterday.
The UK leaving the Common Fisheries Policy and regaining control of the entire quota in its waters would lead to a 21 per cent increase in the seafood sector’s output.
Marine Scotland considered four possible Brexit scenarios, with only one leading to a fall in output. In most cases, even with the potential negative effect of trade barriers and tariffs, the fishing industry would benefit from having greater access to stocks.
Scottish fishermen welcomed the analysis, with Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong (pictured) saying: ‘This report simply underlines the importance of the UK regaining sovereignty over its own waters and becoming an independent Coastal State with the powers to control access and fishing opportunity.
‘For Scotland that could be worth an additional £540 million in income and create 5,000 more jobs in the sector, it says.
‘Any other course of action would be harmful to the fishing industry and, given its importance to coastal communities (again as highlighted in the report), that would be totally unacceptable.
‘There are challenges ahead in securing these aims, of that there is no doubt. But in light of the potential bonanza, we would urge politicians of all parties to press both the UK and Scottish governments to work together to support the aims and objectives of the fishing industry.’
However, Scotland rural economy minister Fergus Ewing said that the report showed that leaving the single market and customs union would cause ‘significant harm’ to the industry.
‘This report confirms that reduced access to EU markets could significantly harm Scotland’s seafood industries, with those parts of our sector reliant on the speedy supply of fresh product to European markets particularly at risk,’ he said.