Councillor hails allowance change

Councillor Charles Buchan.
Councillor Charles Buchan.

A Fraserburgh councillor has hailed a fishing allowance increase for small boat owners that will see them able to catch more mackerel.

Owners and skippers of boats under 10m will now be able to catch 1,300 tonnes of mackerel from line, an increase from their previous allowance of 300.

Cllr Charles Buchan said: “I was delighted to hear the Minister for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead, make an announcement that he intends to raise the allocation for line-caught mackerel for small boats.

“Although the vast majority of mackerel caught is by our modern world-leading pelagic fleet, the inshore catching sector, including all species, is worth £90 million.

“I’m very pleased we were listened to. Many fishermen had expressed their concerns, and the jusitification of their case for raising of the allocation was clear.

“As well as economically, the under 10m fishing boat sector is also important socially and culturally,” he said.

“Fishing and the sea is part of our history and heritage and is why our coastal towns and villages exist. We need to keep our young people connected to the sea, both as a source of income to them and for sport and leisure.”

Details of the scheme will be revealed in the next few weeks.