Fishermen urge cross-party Brexit deal

THE Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is calling for cross-party support in tomorrow’s Holyrood fisheries debate to ensure fishing communities benefit from the opportunities presented by Brexit.
The debate will focus on the end-of-the-year EU Fish Council, which meets from December 12 to determine catch quotas for 2017.
The annual negotiations are always complex and difficult, said the SFF, but with Brexit looming the federation believes there is scope for an ambitious new fisheries management regime.
The SFF said there could be significant economic benefit for fishing communities once the UK regains control of its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Both the SFF and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), which represents a broad section of fishermen in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, have welcomed Brexit as providing the structure to deliver fairer shares of catching opportunity for UK vessels.
Bertie Armstrong (pictured), chief executive of the SFF, said: ‘Fishermen across the UK are united in their belief that Brexit, if handled properly, offers a sea of opportunity of sustained economic benefit for our coastal communities.
‘But such benefits can only happen if parliamentarians from all parts of the political spectrum join together and throw their support behind our fishing communities to ensure the best possible deal for fishing post Brexit.’