With Scottish fishermen reporting huge quantities of cod and other fish on the fishing grounds, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) says it is time for recognition to be given to the severe sacrifices made by the Scottish fleet in reducing discards and conserving fish stocks.
The federation has been contacted by a number of fishermen in recent weeks about the large numbers of cod and other fish being caught, and according to SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong, this stock recovery must result in rewards for fishermen in the future.
“The fishing fleet has shrunk dramatically in size and we have been pioneering initiatives to reduce discards and conserve stocks, including developing new designs of trawls and real-time areas closures to protect nursery grounds.
“Our fishermen have made huge sacrifices in recent years – in effect, these measures amount to taking much longer to catch much less.
“The results are now only too evident with fishermen reporting a dramatic surge in the amount of fish on the grounds.
“This is, of course, welcome news, but it is vital that the Scottish and UK Governments, along with the European Commission, recognise that the sacrifices made by our fishermen should be rewarded with increased catching opportunities to reflect the true status of the stocks.
“This is particularly important, given the impending introduction of a discards ban and an obligation for fishermen to land all their fish.”