Power struggle threatens Scottish fishing industry

06 Dec 2012
The SFF is warning that the dispute needs to be settled to ensure the future of the Scottish fishing indsutry

The SFF is warning that the dispute needs to be settled to ensure the future of the Scottish fishing industry

According to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), a struggle between the Council of European Fisheries Ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament over who has the ultimate power to make important fisheries management decisions, is threatening the future of the Scottish fishing industry.

The SFF is warning that the complex dispute is affecting decision making that is essential to ensure a sensible and sustainable fishery management plan is in place for next year.

One of the key problems facing the industry is the mismanagement of days at sea, it says. With fishermen facing further cuts in the number of days they can put at sea, it is vital that coherent decisions are made.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of SFF, said: “The larger part of the Scottish fishing industry is subjected to constraints in days at sea and the governing regulation has for a long time been widely recognised by scientists, fisheries managers and the industry as being fatally flawed.”

He added: “The problem that the industry faces is that sensible and sustainable fisheries management has fallen victim to this three way power struggle. There will be a chance to sort this out at the Council of Fisheries Ministers scheduled for 18 - 20 December in Brussels, but only if all parties agree to focus on taking pragmatic decisions on practical matters of sustainable fishing, rather comparing the metaphorical length of their respective legal entitlements."

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