SFF seeks support for December 2020 CFP exit
According to Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald, it is clear to representatives of all political parties that the fleet would prosper when control over who gets to catch what, where and when in UK waters is restored to the country’s governments.
Because of the well-established round of international negotiations at which coastal states meet to set quotas for the year ahead, the SFF sees it is vital for the implementation period for fishing to end – as proposed – in December 2020.
“We recognise that there will be challenges in the year ahead if we are to meet this timetable for a managed transition for the sector,” Elspeth Macdonald said.
“However, the industry stands ready to address and overcome obstacles to us in leaving what is widely seen as an excessively bureaucratic and at times punitive and contradictory framework in the shape of the CFP. We hope politicians of all parties will recognise the benefits to our coastal communities and the wider economy of a larger, more prosperous and sustainable industry, where the potential to double the amount of raw material caught by the Scottish fleet could result in an uplift of £500 million in value and up to 5000 new jobs, according to a Scottish Government report.”
She commented that the industry’s requirements have been clearly and consistently stated since the referendum of June 2016.
These set out that UK and Scottish governments should have the power to determine who gets to catch what, where and when for the benefit of coastal communities and wider economies, and that the whole Scottish fleet is able to seize the Sea of Opportunity that exiting the EU presents, securing early gains in the form of quota uplift and year-on-year gains thereafter.
The SFF’s position is that there must be a move to zonal attachment in allocation quotas with a modern, evidence-based method of allocation according to where fish stocks actually are, and that there must be no linkage should be made between access to UK waters and access to EU markets.
“This can only be achieved when control is restored to the UK as a sovereign Coastal State,” Elspeth Macdonald said.
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