SFF reaction

Commenting on Richard Lochhead’s recent meeting with a range of Scottish skippers Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Chief Executive, Bertie Armstrong said the industry could not wait for CFP reform.

“I am glad that the Cabinet Secretary has given public recognition to the message directly from working skippers that despite increasing stocks, the value from their businesses remains trapped in inflexible regulation,” said Mr Armstrong.

“He has certainly heard this before and we simply cannot wait for CFP reform to fix all ills - if we do there will be no serious fishing industry left and its associated infrastructure that is so vital to fragile coastal communities.

“For example, on days at sea, the flexibility we need to balance shortfalls in one area with surpluses in another must be dealt with now - not as part of a process unlikely to produce regulatory reform before 2014. There is a pile of priorities that need to be addressed urgently- the number of days that vessels can put to sea, sanctions for Iceland and Faroes for overfishing mackerel, and a common sense approach to discarding.”